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Featured Online Writing Class

Chris Eboch

ADVANCED PLOTTING: Keep Those Pages Turning by Chris Eboch

START DATE: This class is currently closed.

DURATION:  8 weeks (four classes)

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Many books and workshops teach the basics of plotting: conflict, complications, and climax. Now learn advanced techniques that will make a decent plot dynamic. Start with a “grab you by the throat” opening to pull readers into the story. Learn how to pack the plot full by complicating your complications. Control your pacing through sentence and paragraph length. And finally, cliffhanger chapter endings ensure late-night reading under the covers. Learn techniques to make any story or book better. Novelists will benefit from these insights, whether they are just starting out or have years of experience.


This class has been one of the good ones. Your enthusiasm is contagious, and the sheer amount of knowledge you possess is fantastic. Your advice was always spot on. The links to various articles and blogs was and will continue to be extremely useful. All in all, your plot analysis tool is wonderful, and your class has helped me grow as a writer. It’s helped me to wrap my mind around the actual techniques involved in writing fiction (and non-fiction, actually). ~ Nancy Partridge

I have to tell you that your workshop was the one I got the most useful information from. It was quite informative and introduced me to several trains of thought that were new to me. ~ Donna J. Barland

Thank you for putting together such a helpful workshop. Of the entire weekend, I think I learned the most from listening to you. I now catch myself recognizing cliff hangers and secondary-characters-as-villains while I read. More importantly, your information was helpful to my own work. Thanks again for such a great workshop. ~ Linda Reedy

Thanks for your terrific workshop yesterday at the SCBWI conference. I loved your thoughts on pacing, cliffhangers, etc. You certainly added to my positive experience! ~ Alyssa Kirk

Just a quick note to say thanks for your class this past weekend. Your class on Monday afternoon was my favorite. You gave us very specific things we could incorporate into our own work. That’s the kind of info I was looking for when I signed up for the conference. ~ Pamela Haskin

Chris had a very detailed and extensive lecture with many great tips on how to improve the plot of your novel and to make sure the pacing never drags. The handout she distributed among the standing-room-only crowd was especially valuable with her meticulous notes. ~ Paula Yoo

Chris is hands-down one of the best author-speakers we’ve ever had. I don’t think she uttered a word about her own life story as many do; she was all about teaching a vital and often forgotten aspect in our writing. The comments on her were full of grateful praise. ~ Robin Koontz, SCBWI Oregon retreat leader


Weeks 1-2: Fast Starts

Most editors, agents, and readers will judge a submission on the first page or two, and if you can’t get their attention right away, you’ve missed a sale. Learn what belongs in a first chapter, and how to balance grounding your reader in the story with jumping into the action.

Weeks 3-4: Pack The Plot Full

Once you’ve grabbed your reader’s attention, you need to keep it. Make sure your book is a page turner by focusing on your character’s goals and motivation, and then packing in the action, drama, and tension. These techniques work for every genre, even if you have a “quieter” story.

Weeks 5-6: Plot Analysis

Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, at some point you need to analyze your plot. You can’t make it better until you can see what you really have. We’ll discuss options for when and how to analyze your plot, with techniques that work for different planning and writing styles. Then try using one of the options on your work in progress.

Weeks 7-8: Strong Scenes

Some final techniques will ensure every scene drives the story forward to maximum effect. Learn how to use scene questions and how to write great cliffhangers, even for a moment that don't seem to have as much action. Finally, dive into the details of using paragraphing and sentence structure for maximum dramatic impact.

Materials needed: No materials needed. Students may want to buy the author’s book, Advanced Plotting, but any necessary tools and references will be provided. Students will likely get the most out of this course if they have a novel in progress, either a complete draft ready for editing or a partial draft that needs help.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Chris Eboch is the author of over 50 books for children and adults. Chris taught through the Institute of Children’s Literature for 10 years and has led dozens of popular writing workshops around the world. Her novel for ages nine and up include The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure; The Genie’s Gift, a middle eastern fantasy; and the Haunted series, about kids who travel with a ghost hunter TV show. Chris writes for adults under the name Kris Bock. “Kris Bock” novels are action-packed romantic suspense involving outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Read excerpts at

Chris’s writing craft books include Advanced Plotting and You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers. Learn more at or check out her writing tips at her Write Like a Pro! blog. Chris has her MA degree in Professional Writing and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston.

COST:  $125, which includes weekly assignments and individual feedback from the instructor. This class will be conducted through a Discussion Board, with the opportunity for students to ask questions and post homework samples.

BUY NOW: Advanced Plotting with Chris Eboch (8 weeks/4 classes, starting 1/9/2017) Limit: 15 students. Early registration is recommended.

This class is now closed. Please check here for our current schedule.

For Class Session Starting 1/9/2017


Notes:  Upon successful completion of payment, your name, email address, and contact info will be submitted to your instructor. Just before class begins, she will e-mail you with instructions on how to get started.

Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:

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