Introducing KP Minicourses!

Introducing_MinicoursesHave you ever needed to get a solid foundation on core writing principles really fast?

If so, you may be interested in our newly released KP Minicourses!

KP Minicourses are built on the premise that many writers don’t have time to take an intensive course on every writing subject.

Sometimes they just need a shortcut so they can jump in, quickly learn what they need, and  return to writing.

Today we’re releasing two Kingdom Pen Minicourses.

One minicourse is called How to Create a Compelling Protagonist and explains the five key qualities every protagonist should have in order to enthrall the reader.

The other minicourse is titled The Basics of Writing Genre Fiction and explains what emotions readers expect to experience when reading various works of genre fiction.

Each KP Minicourse is between twenty and thirty minutes long and gives you the crash course you need to go out and write.

Sometimes a short course means a simple course that only covers the basics. That’s not what we’re trying to do here. We don’t want to waste your time with simple lessons that teach you things you already know.

Instead, each minicourse seeks to approach the topic with a unique perspective that helps you situate the topic in the context of our overall goal as storytellers: to tell stories that both delight and instruct readers.

These courses aren’t as comprehensive as our main courses. But they aim to be an effective shortcut to help you start working on your story immediately.

Even better, for this launch week, we’re offering both courses at the discounted price of $7 (normally $10) until midnight Saturday.

If either of these courses interests you, you want to snatch up this opportunity fast.

You can read more about both courses on their sales pages.

Click this link to learn more about what these minicourses offer.

The Bildungsroman: What It Is and How to Write One

The transition from childhood to adulthood is an important transition that everyone has to make.  So it shouldn’t be too surprising to find that this transition is a common motif in literary works.  Coming of age stories are staples among children and YA literature, but all of this may raise some questions.  What exactly makes a story a coming of age story?  Does a character just need to be at a certain age, or does a story need certain elements to qualify?  And how do you write a coming of age novel?  This is potentially a large topic, but in this article, I’ll try to sketch out the basic elements of a coming of age novel and then examine how to do one well.  bildungsromanpost

In the literary field, a coming of age novel is often known by the German term, bildungsroman, which means a novel of formation, education, or culture.  This is an important element of the coming-of-age novel to understand:

“The story often represents a time of formation where the protagonist has to figure out who he is and where his place is in the world.  At the beginning of the book, the protagonist often has a lot of potential, but lacks refinement and solidarity of character—something he’s going to have to gain by the story’s end.”

Many times, this bildungsroman will have a plot resembling the hero’s journey.  Unpacking what all the hero’s journey looks like would take longer than I have space for in this article, but if you’re unfamiliar with the term, this video does a pretty good job of showing what the stereotypical hero’s journey looks like:

Essentially, the young protagonist is sent out on some sort of mission in order to save the community he grew up in and, in the process of doing so, end up discovering himself as well. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Josiah DeGraaf
Josiah DeGraaf is a high school English teacher and literature nerd who fell in love with stories when he was young and hasn’t fallen out of love ever since.
He writes because he’s fascinated by human motivations. What causes otherwise-good people to make really terrible decisions in their lives? Why do some people have the strength to withstand temptation when others don’t? How do people respond to periods of intense suffering? What does it mean to be a hero?
These questions drive him as a reader, and they drive him as a writer as well as he takes normal people, puts them in crazy situations (did he mention he writes fantasy?), and then forces them to make difficult choices with their lives.
Someday, Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels with worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, and stories as entertaining as Wayne Thomas Batson’s. In the meantime, you can find him writing articles here or short stories at his website (link below) as he works toward achieving these goals.