Q. Is Mystery Writing Mastery specific to mysteries, or will it be suitable for writers working in other genres?
There is mystery-specific content regarding plotting, suspects, detectives, etc., but I'd say most sessions apply equally to crime fiction and noir, and to other genres as well. I’ve taught lit writers, tv screenwriters and showrunners, and writers of science fiction and fantasy, many of whom found that the techniques apply equally there. And as people ask questions, I'll add new content to answer as best I can.
Q. What kind of access do students have to the instructor?
With the exercises, you can choose to send them to me and I'll comment and, with permission, include them with first name only in the course section so that students can share ideas and see how others work out these scenarios. Questions are encouraged, and I'm hoping to build up the FAQ sections and record new material to address students's concerns. I'd love to make this as interactive as possible, but also as accessible as possible. (I do offer manuscript critiques as well, but that's less of a course and more one and one work. )
Q. What is the instructor's background?
Sam Wiebe is the award-winning author of the Wakeland novels, one of the most authentic and acclaimed detective series in Canada, including Invisible Dead (“the definitive Vancouver crime novel”) and Cut You Down (“successfully brings Raymond Chandler into the 21st century”). Wiebe’s other books include Never Going Back, Last of the Independents, and the Vancouver Noir anthology, which he edited. Wiebe’s work has won the Crime Writers of Canada award and the Kobo Emerging Writers prize, and been shortlisted for the Edgar, Hammett, Shamus, and City of Vancouver book prizes. His original film/tv projects have been optioned, and his short stories have appeared in ThugLit, Spinetingler, and subTerrain, as well as anthologies by Houghton-Mifflin and Image Comics. Wiebe is a former Vancouver Public Library Writer in Residence. Visit samwiebe.com for more info.
Q. Is a Manuscript Critique a better option?
It depends on your finances and the state of your manuscript. Critiques are expensive and specific to one work. Mystery Writing Mastery is designed to save you time and money by helping you develop the skills to evaluate and revise your manuscript. Before you spend thousands of dollars on a manuscript critique, why not learn what professional writers (not to mention agents and publishers) look for in a manuscript?
"Extremely thought provoking...Had a lot of fun learning about Noir." "Excellent course!" "Full of insight. Encouraging. Thorough." "I have taken several writing courses, and this was one of the best with respect to the real world and thoughtful advice." "Realistic advice presented in an encouraging way." "Sam's choices were spot on, and his elaboration on key points practical and helpful." "Great class! Very motivational! Made the venture of writing feel more approachable."