New Class: 'TOUGH DAMES- How To Write Believable Hardboiled Heroines' w/ Christa Faust - Starts March 19th

Christa Faust

In this column we'll announce upcoming classes at LitReactor.  These classes are written, taught, and led by published authors and respected industry professionals.  On March 19th we're unveiling a new entry-level class; a 4-week beginner-friendly class that will lead you through the steps of creating stronger, more believable characters, plots, and settings for hardboiled, noir, and crime fiction. Your instructor? Christa Faust, author of Choke Hold, Money Shot and Butch Fatale, Dyke Dick in Double-D Double Cross

“Christa Faust is a Veronica in a world of Betties”  - Quentin Tarantino

The Details: 16 Seats Available, Starts March 19, 4 Week duration, 100% Online

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Class Description

What makes a good hardboiled or noir story? The inciting act, like the heist or the murder, is pretty important. So is the lush, yet gritty, setting. But most important is the characters--the grizzled PI, or the femme fatale. How they rise or fall is the gauge of a successful story. Good characters matter--and Christa Faust is going to show you how to write them.

Christa has been recruited by LitReactor to teach a four-week, online class on how to write tough, flawed, and most of all, believable characters--with a special focus on strong women. The goal of the class is to produce one or more short stories or novel chapters, to a publishable standard.

What The Class Covers

Week 1:  Beyond the Femme Fatale: creating believable female characters in hard-boiled and noir fiction
Week 2:  Dialog and the Female Voice: shut up and listen
Week 3:  Bad Sex, Well Written - how flawed, awkward, ugly sex can reveal character
Week 4:  Kicking Ass in High Heels: women and action

Goals Of The Class

  • Write stronger, more believable hardboiled characters, particularly women
  • Create plots and settings that test and reveal believable characters in crime fiction
  • Produce one or more short stories or novel chapters to a publishable standard

How Classes Are Structured

Our classes are hosted 100% online. We offer a clean and simple structure to our online classroom through the following features:

  • Class Dashboard: The hub. This is where messages and major updates for the students are posted. (see a screenshot)
  • Lectures: This is where instructors post their lectures. Read the current lecture and return to re-read it as much as you like. A link for previous lectures will take you back to them even after new instructional material gets posted.
  • Assignments: Assignments get posted in conjunction with similiarily themed lectures, but live under their own tab where they're easy to find. Each has a deadline, but students can login to work on them in a flexible way that accommodates any schedule.
  • Homework: Students can see all the assignments thus far submitted on the Homework page. It's just another name for Assignments, but gives you one convenient place to find them all after they're turned in. This helps students help each other through cycles of peer critique.
  • Discussions: A forum for students to discuss the class. Also a place where instructors can engage with students in less formal topics.
  • Class Members: A great place to see a roster of all the students currently enrolled in the class.

Take a tour of our online classroom to see how it all looks and feels.  We trust you won't scratch anything.

About Your Instructor

Christa FaustCHRISTA FAUST is the author of Money Shot, Choke Hold, and Butch Fatale, Dyke Dick in Double-D Double Cross. She also writes work-for-hire media tie in novels, including the novelization of Snakes on a Plane. Christa grew up in New York City, and has worked in Times Square peep booths, as a fetish model, and as a professional dominatrix. She sold her first short story when she moved to Los Angeles in the early 90s.

After nearly 20 years in her adopted city, she still considers herself an expat rather than a native. Christa is also an avid reader and collector of vintage paperbacks, and a film noir and tattoo enthusiast.

"An astounding novel... funny, heartbreaking, violent and sexy, Choke Hold has everything you’d wish for in a thriller." - Guilty Conscience Review

“Entertaining and all that neo-pulp should be, but [Money Shot's] ring of authenticity also makes it quite a bit more than that.” - Sarah Weinman, from Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind

"Faust’s tough gal heroine and punchy way of delivering her violent plot quickly grabbed this reader." - Blog Critics

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Dennis Widmyer

News by Dennis Widmyer

Dennis Widmyer is the founder of, best-selling author Chuck Palahniuk's (Fight Club, Choke) official website.  His passion in life is making movies.  With partner Kevin Kölsch, he founded Parallactic Pictures, a banner for all of their independent film projects.  To date, the duo have directed two features, a number of shorts, and have penned over a dozen screenplays.  He recently co-directed a feature horror film called STARRY EYES for Snowfort Pictures and Dark Sky Films that had its world premiere at the 2014 SXSW film festival.  You can see more of his work at When he's not making movies and working on websites, he enjoys going to the movies, writing, reading, photography, hiking, cats and hanging out with friends.

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