Creating Unforgettable Opening Pages with Literary Agent John Cusick
🗓️ Saturday, August 13, 2022 at 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern
In this webinar, we’ll discuss techniques for creating grabbing, unforgettable opening pages. We’ll examine how to craft an opening line sure to hook agents, as well as how to introduce characters, establishing tone, create drama and tension on every page, and build a foundation that will support the whole of your manuscript.
John Cusick is a Senior Vice President and literary agent with Folio Jr. / Folio Literary Management. He represents a diverse list of bestselling and award-winning creators of picture books, middle-grade, and young adult novels. He is also the author of GIRL PARTS and CHERRY MONEY BABY (Candlewick Press), and the DIMENSION WHY middle-grade series (HarperCollins). You can find him online at @johnmcusick, and on his YouTube channel for writers, Agent Brain / Writer Brain.
Join Jessica Brody and special guests each month for exclusive, live writing webinars covering a wide range of topics
Join the Writing Mastery Academy today to get access to live monthly webinar events plus all of our online writing courses and access to the Writing Mastery Online Community! Each webinar starts with a presentation by Jessica or a special guest about a specific writing topic and ends with a live Q&A. Webinar topics are chosen from popular questions and suggestions directly from our Writing Mastery Academy members.
We also host occasional AMA (Ask-Me-Anything) webinars dedicated to answering questions from our members.
Here’s the best part: Recordings of every webinar are stored forever and available to watch any time. We also add popular questions and answers to our searchable “FAQ Video Library” that you will also have access to. Think of it like a growing knowledge base of all the most common questions about Save the Cat!, plotting, pacing, character development, world building, writing process, point of view, revisions, the publishing industry, and more!
Get unlimited access to past webinar recordings including:
Build A Thriller Backwards with Alexa Donne
How do you write a compelling, compulsive mystery/suspense/thriller book? What are the components to keep in mind as you are brainstorming and planning, whether you are an outliner or a pantser? Alexa Donne will share how she approaches planning and writing a thriller–backwards! (Don’t worry it sounds scarier than it is.) She’ll go over essential components of a mystery/thriller, key thriller beats, popular tropes, pacing tips, and more that you can apply to adult, YA, or MG suspense books.
The Five Point Finale
If you've ever felt your endings don't feel earned, or that things get "wrapped up too easily" in the end, you won't want to miss this webinar. Join Jessica for a discussion about the Save the Cat! Five-Point Finale and how you can use it (for any genre!) to make your Third Act more compelling and dynamic. Jessica covers the Finale beat, the five points of the Five Point Finale, and gives examples from popular movies and novels.
The Psychology of Great Characters: A Conversation with Mary Kole
Join Jessica Brody and Mary Kole, Founder and Executive Editor at Good Story Company, and instructor of Crafting Dynamic Characters, as they discuss the psychology of great characters. After the conversation, they’ll be taking your questions on character development, the Crafting Dynamic Characters course, and all things writing.
Writing with Scrivener with Michael La Ronn
In this session, Michael will cover what Scrivener is and why it is an essential writing app in your arsenal. He’ll cover both basic and intermediate features you’ll need to know to plan, write, edit, and format your novel in Scrivener, as well as some tips that will make you more productive. By the end, you’ll feel more comfortable with the app and how to write books in it effectively.
Cheat Codes for Creating Sympathetic Characters with Scott Reintgen
So much of writing comes back to a single question: is the reader interested in following the main character into your story? In this session, author Scott Reintgen will walk through 17 methods that will have the reader falling head over heels for your characters. With each “cheat code”, we’ll discuss examples from literature and film. You’ll be surprised how deftly some authors have wielded these methods to create the characters we love the most. But most importantly, you’ll be able to take these back and easily apply them to your own work.
Writing Sequels and Series
Learn how to write and plot compelling sequels and series using the Save the Cat! plotting method. In this webinar, Jessica covers the two main types of series, the series Beat Sheet, tips for going beyond the first book, and what to know before you start.
Writing Multiple Points of View
Join Jessica Brody as she breaks down her best practices for juggling multiple points of view (and beat sheets!) in a single story. Jessica covers what multiple POV is, gives examples from popular novels, discusses why you would want to use multiple POV in your stories, the challenges and benefits, some best practices, and how to track multiple POVs in the Save the Cat! Beat sheet.
How to Write Page-Turning Tension with Jordan Rosenfeld
Just learning the basic building blocks of story craft is not enough to write a page-turning story; you need to master the art of tension on every page and within every element of the story. From the inner conflicts of a character’s deepest psyche, to the mechanics of how you reveal information to the reader, creating tension is critical to crafting a story your readers can’t put down!
Crafting Your Ending with Simon & Schuster Editorial Director Kendra Levin
How do you bring a piece of writing to a conclusion that your readers won’t see coming and that leaves them satisfied? Join editorial director and life coach for writers Kendra Levin in a deep dive into the craft of endings. We’ll explore how to find the answers within your characters, using mythic structure as a tool, and boots-on-the-ground approaches to tackling that final, vital part of your story’s arc.
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FAQ Video Library
After each webinar, we curate and categorize the Q&A into our FAQ Video Library, so you can quickly find answers to common writing questions. Here's a sample of the available questions:
- How to create well-rounded characters?
- Does a hero always have to change over the course of a story
- What's the best way to have a character realize something organically?
- How do I make readers like an unlikable character?
The Publishing Industry
- What is a realistic timeline between drafting and getting published?
- How do I find an editor?
- Can you publish on various platforms?
- Is traditional publishing still a viable path?
- How do you keep track of your revision process?
- How do you know when you're done revising a chapter?
- What do I do if I get bored with the story I'm writing?
- How do I start revisions for a very messy draft?
Save the Cat! & Plotting
- How do you structure a series using Save the Cat!?
- How do the Save the Cat! beats relate to chapters?
- How do you use Save the Cat! in the revision process?
- Does a hero always have to change over the course of a story?
- How do you build a convincing fantasy world?
- How do you describe a world in a way that shows rather than tells?
- How much setting detail is too much?
- What's the difference between a world and a setting?
- How do you defeat perfectionism to finish a book?
- How do you find your voice as a writer?
- How do I prioritize all the story ideas I have and avoid leaving stories half-finished?
- How do I turn a hodgepodge of detailed notes and dialogue into a draft?
Save the Cat! Novel Writing Course
OFFICIAL SAVE THE CAT! COURSE
Discover the secret storytelling code behind all great novels and use it to outline, write, or revise your own
Novel Fast Drafting Course
Stop stressing, second-guessing, and revising endlessly. Learn the fastest, most efficient way to write novels (and finish them every single time)
The Complete Novel Revision Course
Learn a time-tested, step-by-step revision process for taking your novel from first draft to final draft
Crafting Dynamic Characters
Learn to create fully fleshed-out, dynamic characters and how to reveal them to the reader in a way that grabs their attention and captures their heart
Foundations of Fiction
Master the foundations of compelling fiction and use them to craft killer novels, memoirs, or short stories
Secrets to Self-Publishing Success
A comprehensive, step-by-step guide to successfully self-publishing and marketing your novel, with bestselling author Bethany Atazadeh
Productivity Hacks for Writers
Learn to "hack" your brain, space, and devices to stay focused, be more productive, and get the most out of every writing day
Develop Blockbuster Ideas that Sell
Unleash your creativity and brainstorm "high-concept" book and movie ideas that sell
Conquering Writer's Block
Proven strategies, techniques, and tools to overcome writer's block (for good!), and become a Prolific Writer
Sell Your Novel to a Major Publisher
A comprehensive, step-by-step insider's guide to selling your book and becoming a paid, published author
Monthly webinars (with Jessica Brody and special guests) where we deep dive into a variety of writing topics and answer your questions. Join live or watch the recording
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