Jason Starr: Finishing Your First Crime Novel (An Online Course)

Schedule: A new video lecture will be posted every Monday starting April 17th through May 22nd, with weekly discussion via online message board


Sign Up: $250


Jason Starr, international bestselling and two-time Anthony Award winning author of 20 crime novels, psychological thrillers and graphic novels, leads this unique online class. 


About the Course:

Have a great idea for a crime novel? Have you written a few amazing chapters? Those are big important steps, but now you need to finish that novel and get on to writing your next one.

In this 6-week online course, instructor Jason Starr will help you hone your crime writing skills, and help you to ensure your work-in-progress has everything it needs to become a completed book.

In a video lecture each week, Starr will discuss the elements of successful crime novels—from inception to the words: The End.

Weekly assignments will reinforce the main points in the lecture.

Students will post their assignments and responses weekly and Jason will lead the discussions via the online message board, and participate in Q and A with the students.



Course Schedule:

Week 1 Lecture: Writing the Right Idea

Coming up with an idea is a first step, but how do you know you have the right idea? Starr will offer tips for coming up with a compelling idea, and how to make sure your idea has the legs to become a completed novel.

Week 2 Lecture: Characters That Pop

You can’t write a great novel without great characters. To finish your novel, you’ll need compelling characters that readers will enjoy spending time with for 300 or more pages, and—if it’s the first in a series—will want to revisit in future books. Starr will discuss ways to ensure your characters come to life on the page.


Week 3 Lecture: Improve Your Plotting

Every great crime novel has to have a great plot. How do you make sure your plot is as airtight as possible, and that you won’t hit a dead end? Starr will offer strategies for creating suspenseful plotting in your novel to guarantee you won’t get stuck in the maze.

Week 4 Lecture: Moving a Novel Forward with Dialogue

Snappy, compelling dialogue is crucial in any novel, but it’s even more important in crime fiction where the plot always has to move forward. How do you move a story forward with dialogue? What’s the difference between dialogue and conversation? Starr will offer tips and examples from the masters.

Week 5 Lecture: Creating Suspense

In order to keep readers gripped and turning pages, your book needs to have non-stop suspense. How do you maintain suspense in a novel? Starr will discuss how to create great cliffhangers and plots that consistently surprise. He’ll also discuss techniques for outlining your novel.

Week 6 Lecture: The Habits of Successful Writers

How do you stay motivated to write every day? How do you avoid writer’s block? How do you stay excited about your work-in-progress? Starr discusses how to develop the work habits to ensure you’ll finish your novel, and write many more.


Course Goals:

• Sharpening the skills necessary to not just start your crime novel, but to finish it.
• Weekly writing assignments to help improve your writing, and make sure you’re getting closer to the finish line.
• Receive feedback on your weekly assignments from other students, as well as from the instructor.
• Network with fellow students. 





Jason Starr is the international bestselling author of twelve crime novels, which have been published in nine languages, including Anthony Award winner Twisted City and Barry Award winner Tough Luck. He has also co-written four novels with Ken Bruen for Hard Case Crime, and writes comics for Marvel (Wolverine, The Punisher, Ant-Man) and DC (Batman, Sandman, The Avenger), and original graphic novels, including Anthony Award winner, The Chill. His short stories have appeared in many anthologies, including Wall Street NoirDublin Noir, and Jewish Noir. His latest novel, Savage Lane, was published in October, 2015 by Polis Books.


Have questions about this course? Contact Sara Batkie (sara@centerforfiction.org)