Class taught by Melinda Metz, author of more than fifty books
SALISBURY, N.C. — Popular book series like Harry Potter and Twilight started a young adult fiction craze – or a revival, as some might say.
And now we see comic books flooding the big screen and young adult books like Hunger Games, Divergent and Vampire Academy sweeping the box offices.
Starting August 12, aspiring writers can take a two-week personal enrichment course at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College o learn about the basics of writing fiction along with priceless techniques from an immensely successful author in the College’s Basics of Writing Fiction class. A second class will begin September 12.
Melinda Metz, author of more than fifty books ranging from teens to middle grade readers, will teach local aspiring writers how to turn their story idea into a real work of fiction.
Metz knows success firsthand. Her young adult book series Roswell High was turned into the TV show Roswell. In addition to writing for Roswell, she also wrote for the TV show 1-800-Missing.
“Lots of people have grand ideas for books – the trick is to be able to build the story into a book and actually keep the story going,” said Metz.
The course is not just geared at those writing for a young adult audience. Before becoming a writer, Melinda spent ten years as an editor, working on all kinds of fiction, for both children and adults.
“Some people say, write what you know. I say, write what you like to read. I certainly don’t ‘know’ vampires, but I like to read about them, so I write about them!” said Metz.
In two-hour classes, students will write and explore their story ideas with a variety of exercises and writing prompts.
“Working on writing prompts allows you to learn new techniques. Even if I’m not writing about something that I can use, it always helps me to feel more creative and I can put that to use with what I’m actually working on.”
By editing work for a number of years, and writing for both print and TV, Metz has a wealth of experience and expertise that can help local writers. As an editor for R.L. Stine’s popular Fear Street series, for instance, Metz learned the ins and outs of helping authors create their best work.
“The best advice I can give is to read a lot. Take note of how the author strings the story together and develops the plot,” said Metz. “How do they convey emotion? What makes up the best action scenes?”
Metz has lived in the area for the last nine years and currently resides in Concord. She will share her best insider tips on how to write based on what you enjoy reading, how to make your ideas into a whole book and the best way to experiment with different genres.
“I didn’t start writing until I was 35. I had it in my head that writers were special, even though I knew a lot of writers. If I can help anybody get there sooner, I’d love to do that,” Metz shared. “Writing is not magical, it has to be learned!”
Metz is currently working on a young adult thriller for St. Martin’s called Sanctuary Bay due out spring 2015. She’s also working on a series of short mysteries for third and fourth graders.
Classes are offered on North Campus in Salisbury and the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. For more information, please visit www.rccc.edu/writing or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).