Freelance writing training – train online to improve your writing skills and make your work more marketable.
Study to improve your chances of selling your writing work and also your career prospects with this advanced qualification.
Improve Your Skills and Opportunities as a Freelance Writer -
- Learn the skills you need to write professionally.
- Advance your writing ability under the guidance of our expert tutors.
- Understand different styles of writing - educational, technical/scientific, biographies, fiction, news articles.
- Write for profit across a range of writing styles.
Advanced Freelance Writing provides essential studies for anyone who wants to improve their writing skills, both professionally or for their own interest. The course is ideally suited to:
- Web development writers.
- Marketing writers.
- Article writers.
COURSE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT
- Advanced Freelance Writing is a 100 hour course, which can be studied online or by eLearning.
- You can start at any time and you study under the guidance of our exert tutors.
- There are 7 lessons in this course.
Lesson 1. Introduction
- Writing Themes.
- Sentence Structure.
- Summary Skills.
- Theme Development (e.g. Deductive, Inductive, Classic, Chronological, Descriptive, Analogy, Cause & Effect, Classification, Definition Analysis, Comparison & Contrast, Flashback etc.).
- Writing a Regular Column.
- News Columns.
- Criticism Journalism (e.g. Theatre Critics, Book Reviews, Film Reviews, etc.).
Lesson 2. Educational Writing
- Interviewing Skills.
- Illustrating an article.
- Putting it all together.
Lesson 3. Scientific Writing
- Technical Writing.
Lesson 4. Writing a Biographical Story
- Developing a draft plan.
- Writing the final manuscript.
Lesson 5. Writing a News Article
- Analysing a news article.
- Writing and illustrating a sporting event.
Lesson 6. Fiction Writing
- Category Writing.
- Mainstream Writing.
- Characteristics of good fiction (i.e. a strong plot;. a hero or heroine; obvious motivation; plenty of action; a colourful background).
- Forming and developing an idea.
Lesson 7. Other Writing
- TV & Radio Scripts.
- Science Fiction.
- Conducting a Survey.
- Developing a Story.
Each lesson is completed with an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Students studying Advanced Freelance Writing will undertake a variety of tasks in each lesson, and benefit from the learning aims for each of the lessons:
- Review basic writing skills and discuss theme development.
- Develop skills in writing a regular magazine or newspaper column.
- Describe the key elements of educational writing.
- Describe the key elements of technical writing.
- Develop skills in interviewing and preparing a biographical story.
- Develop skills in writing news articles.
- Develop skills in writing fiction.
- Describe other writing styles including script writing.
WHAT WILL YOU DO IN THIS COURSE?
- Develop and sharpens your writing skills through interaction with your tutor.
- Study different writing techniques.
- Conduct research and interviews.
- Plan projects.
- Develop your skills and focus to enable you to produce work that sells.
In the past, most writing was for print media or performance media (e.g. stage plays), but writers today are increasingly writing for electronic media (web sites, eBooks, broadcast media etc.). Through your studies and research, you will soon see this is where the work opportunities are.
How to write dialogue
Writing realistic dialogue does not always come easily to writers. Poorly written dialogue can ruin a good story, but well written dialogue can provide more substance to a story and flesh out the characters. These are some simple rules on how to improve your dialogue writing:
Read your dialogue out loud
Does it sound realistic? Do you think your character would actually say that? For example, Dane Christmas is a tough no-nonsense fisherman, could you imagine him saying "Well darling, would you like to pop round for a cup of Darjeeling later?” It is unlikely. He might, but it does not quite sound right. We are probably more likely to imagine him saying "Fancy a coffee later?” or “Coming over for a brew when we get back?”
Listen to how people do talk
“I am very sorry but I cannot meet you this afternoon as I am going to go and fetch my car from the garage.”
Yes, someone may say that, but it would be more usual to use contractions:
“I'm very sorry, but I can’t meet you this afternoon. I'm going to fetch my car from the garage.”
This second sentence sounds like more natural speech than the first. However, think about your character and write their speech accordingly. Are they likely to speak more formally or informally? Pay attention to the way people speak and how they phrase things.
Edit the dialogue
Good written dialogue should always mimic real speech, but it is typically an edited version. Writing a transcript of an hour long conversation between two people in a coffee house is unlikely to make interesting reading, unless your actual story is based around it. If not, you may choose to whittle your conversation down. Too much dialogue can arduous for the reader. You might think about whether the dialogue is:
- Mainly filler words
- Contributing to the plot.
There are several ways you can make your dialogue more compelling.
Intersperse action with dialogue
This does not mean incorporating a fight scene or a car chase, but just something simple to break up the conversation, for instance:
“I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I'm finding this very difficult.”
She started to cry, slow tears falling down her face. Then she stood and walked out of the room before I could hold her.
I followed her.
Break up dialogue with a description
“I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I'm finding this very difficult.”
I noticed she was crying then. The tears slowly falling down her face. She didn’t touch them, just let them fall from her cheeks onto her dress.
Do not provide too much information at once
A story should unfold naturally, we do not want the character to tell another person everything about themselves straight away. It would be unrealistic.
Avoid too much repetition of words and statements
These include statements like “he said/she said,” “he cried/she cried”, “he replied/she replied”, or beginning too many sentences with the same word or phrases. Readers will notice how often you are repeating yourself and it becomes quite laborious and frustrating for them to read your work. Try to vary this more, for example:
Bill said “It is time to go home. Come on”.
Mary replied “I didn’t realise it was that late. I’ll get my coat.”
Bill answered “Okay, can you fetch mine as well please?”
Mary replied, “Will do.”
This is an extremely dull conversation, but it could be described in a way which makes it more interesting. For example:
“It’s time to go home. Come on.” Bill mumbled through a yawn.
Mary laughed “I didn’t realise it was that late. I’ll get my coat.”
“Fetch mine too." Bill said with a chuckle.
We know the final sentence will be Mary as she is replying to Bill. Although the content is still rather uninspiring, the conversation is at least presented in a slightly more interesting manner.
Read more dialogues
Perhaps one of the best tools for honing your dialogue writing skills is to read a broad range of work from different authors in a variety of genres. Observe how they write dialogue, how often they use it, and how well it fits into their story. This can be invaluable.
It is also prudent to avoid creating stereotypical characters who engage in stereotypical conversations. No one would be impressed to read of a pirate exclaiming “Shiver me timbers”, or a modern day Londoner saying “I'm going up the apples and pears” - meaning 'stairs' in Cockney rhyming slang. Such stereotypical, and largely erroneous phrases, might be amusing if used once or may have a place in a comical novel, but otherwise they are best left well alone.
Be original with your character
Some people use profanities and swear words in everyday speech. Likewise, in some situations within novels we might expect a particular character to use a stronger word than “gosh” or “damn.” If you think that swearing is in character then add that swear word or profanity, but if not, leave it out.
If you do elect to use swear words, do not overuse them. Whilst some people may swear in every sentence in everyday life, it doesn't make for pleasant reading, and your readership may not appreciate it.
It is acceptable to use slang in your story, but be mindful that it can quickly go out of fashion. This can render your work less readable to future generations. Alternatively, you might invent your own slang, such as Anthony Burgess did for his characters in 'A Clockwork Orange'.
"Yarbles! Great bolshy yarblockos to you!"
Alex, in 'A Clockwork Orange'
If you are unfamiliar with this novel, yarbles and yarblockos are words Alex and his cohorts use to describe part of the male anatomy.
Use appropriate punctuation
Make sure you punctuate dialogue correctly. In recent decades it has been quite fashionable to publish novels with little to no punctuation, for instance, 'Blindness' and other novels by José Saramago. However, if you do not indicate dialogue with the use of quotation marks a reader can struggle to differentiate between dialogue and prose. This can be somewhat confusing, and may result in the reader having to re-read whole sections a second time because it was not apparent when the dialogue began.
Typically, dialogue is indicated as follows:
- “Quotation marks should go around dialogue,” said the writer.
- “Punctuation, such as the full stop or comma, should be inside the quotation marks.”
- "Do you understand?"
Punctuate when breaking up dialogue:
- “I wish I could tell you,” Jane sighed. “But I can’t.”
Finally, if you are using interior speech, consider how you are going to present that. For example:
- Jane stared at Rob and thought “I wish I could tell you, but I can’t.”
Some authors may present interior speech in another way, such as italics:
- Jane stared at Rob. I wish I could tell you but I can’t. Instead she looked at him and said “Let’s go.”
"The Freelance Writing course has been one of my most favourite due to the ease and flexibility of correspondence. I have found the staff always helpful and friendly. I appreciated that there were no deadlines and I could complete the work involved when I had time."
Janine, Advanced Freelance Writing Course.
Develop your professional skills
If you have studied writing already, but are looking for a way to further develop your professional skills, this will be an ideal course for you.
- Develop your skills further under the guidance of our specialist tutors.
- Start the course at any time and study at your own pace.
- Work while you learn - you choose when and where to study, fitting your studies around your other life commitments.
Enrolling is easy - just go to the enrolment box at the top right-hand side of this page and choose your payment and learning methods.
If you want to know more and have any questions please get in touch with our expert tutors. Contact them today using our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.
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