It’s that time of year again! No, not Halloween… NaNoWriMo is nearly upon us. I’m crap at NaNo. Like really bad! I have never finished a NaNo novel. Last year I used it to write a lot of short stories about Sprite, Spectre, Clouds, Yuffie and Fuen before the Little Fears had been born. A lot of those tales later appeared in the Little Fears tales.

For this year’s NaNo, I aim to double my writing output for a month. Writing twelve stories a day instead of six.  Any free time I get in November will be spent finishing the current 7 books I have sat on my hard drive that need doodles, editing, remixing and whacking with a bangy hammer.

In the spirit of this pre-whattheheckdoIwrite-NaNo day, here are some courses for you to try on Skillshare to sharpen up your writing. The first two courses are free. Completely free. Follow the links, sign up, and go to the course page. Skillshare is just a learning platform that hosts free and premium courses. Skillshare premium costs 0.99$ for 2 months and gives you access to thousands of courses on hundreds of subjects.

Free Courses

Writing For Consistency: Finding Your Creative Voice

Ninya Tippett, Writer, Wattpad

Join one of Wattpad‘s most successful writers Ninya Tippett for a fun, bite-sized class on identifying and writing with your creative voice.

While writing is a creative art form, using a structure is essential for execution. In this 20-minute class, Ninya takes one of her top stories on Wattpad and walks through how she turned one creative idea into a full serialized story using a creative brief to organize her ideas. You’ll also learn how to identify your voice in writing that makes your work unique.

Whether you’re a writer looking for a fun exercise, or just starting out with a fun idea in your head, this class will help you turn that idea into the beginnings of a story based upon your creative inspiration.

Class link:

Writing for Online Engagement: Fiction in a Digital World

Rebecca Sky, Author

Join writer and Wattpad Star Rebecca Sky for a new Skillshare class on writing fiction today! You’ll peel back the curtain on online writing and learn frameworks, techniques, and strategies for establishing, engaging, and growing a community around your work.

Key lessons cover today’s writing landscape, tips for serialized fiction, merchandising individual stories, and marketing your work to build your personal brand — all to help you find success.

Perfect for creative writers, fanfic enthusiasts, bloggers, and beginners curious about self-publishing today, this welcoming class will empower writers of every level to confidently write fiction online.

Class link:


Premium Courses

The Writer’s Toolkit: 6 Steps to a Successful Writing Habit

Simon Van Booy, Author and Screenwriter

Do you dream of being a writer but are struggling with how to start? These 6 essential steps will give you the foundation you need to produce great writing.

In this 40-minute class, acclaimed novelist Simon Van Booy walks writers of all types through a simple process that makes writing approachable and fun. You will learn how to:

  • optimize your space for your writing style
  • create a daily writing routine
  • gather and act on inspiration

Perfect for authors, aspiring writers, and enthusiasts looking for a creative outlet, these tools are meant to be revisited often to build a long-term writing process you can rely on for years to come.

Class link:

Writing Character-Driven Short Stories

Yiyun Li, Writer

How do you write a great short story? In this 45-minute class, Yiyun Li walks us through prompts, strategies, and advice for writing compelling characters, turning situations into stories, and revising work into a polished piece.

Li is a professor at UC Davis, a MacArthur Fellow, and has been named a “20 Under 40” writer by The New Yorker. In addition to the class video lessons, Li shares her 4 favorite short stories, and every student will write their own 3-5 page short story inspired by an online comment, review, or obituary. (She provides a few favorites, or you can choose your own.)

Beginning writers can take this class to get started writing fiction, and experienced writers can take this class to try out new writing styles and get feedback on their work. It’s perfect for writers, bloggers, literature lovers, and everyone who loves a compelling story.

Class link: