So, I thought I’d give a little more detail about my workshop and the content of each session:
What Is Story?
Humans have told stories since the beginning of time. What purpose do stories serve, really? Before we write, we need to know why we write. What compels us to tell our stories? And then, what do others expect from our stories? Why are some tales successful and others easily forgotten? In this session, we’ll discuss what stories do, how they evolve, and why they are so powerful.
The First Five Pages
You know you’ve done it: picked up a book in the library or bookstore, read a bit, and then, based on what was in those first few pages, decided whether to take the book with you or put it back on the shelf. Identifying common writing pitfalls – especially those that creep into the very beginning of your writing – and learning how to correct them will make your book stronger and more likely to be enjoyed.
Structure & Function
Narrative communicates to the reader through both the “how” and the “why.” Structure is how the story is put together: plot, setting, characters. Function is why the story is told. Balancing these two important concepts with other features such as psychology, mood, motivation, and detail, will help create a “narrative organism” that carries your reader into the world of your creation.
Writing Real Characters
Why do some characters seem so alive, when you finish the book you feel like a good friend has moved away? And other characters are so flat and contrived that you roll your eyes when reading them? There is more to creating “real” characters than giving them motivation, quirks, or backstory – while these things are important, they quickly turn into “gimmicks” when used without other vital elements. In this session, we’ll discuss how to turn your paper characters into living, breathing story-people.
A Conversation About “The Biz”
Every writer wants to know, “How do you get published?” This question and answer session will cover the basics of agents, editors, publishing, royalties and advances, self-publishing, vanity presses, the “Indie” movement, and anything you might be wondering. Ask away!