December 1, 2018
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Fiction Mastery, led by Jessica Morrell
Saturday, December 1 | 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Crafting a novel is a long, difficult slog even for the most experienced writers. So many decisions and choices, so much fine tuning and revising. Here’s some help: A three-part workshop of specialized techniques for creating a deep, vibrant, and unified story that immerses readers into a vivid world with believable and fascinating characters. The session includes hands-on exercises to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Part 1: Deep viewpoint
What is the key to creating emotional connections between your readers and your characters? It’s deep viewpoint, the sense that readers are immersed in a character’s life and dilemmas. In fact, the reader becomes the character. We’ll discuss and practice how to eliminate distance, how to dramatize true-to-life emotions, and how to develop an authentic voice.
Part 2: Subtext: The river of emotion beneath the story
Life is often lived between the lines, and scenes often simmer with unspoken emotions beneath dialogue and action. In this session subtext will be explained with examples from various genres. We’ll discuss nonverbal communication and how to render it onto the page and how to hint at lies and secrets in scenes. We’ll investigate various methods to insert subtext—innuendo, gestures, pauses, misdirection, colors, clothing, setting details—in other words, the nuanced moments that are not directly represented.
Part 3: Tension on every page
Fiction isn’t written to make readers happy. Its purpose is to jangle their nerves, make their hearts race, give them goose bumps, and disturb their sleep. We’ll explore the recipe for tension that jabs at the reader’s senses creating a force field and underlying every scene. We’ll discuss how to worry readers by using language, peril, discomfort, prolonging dread, cliffhangers, fish-out-of-water scenarios, time running out, and other elements
Jessica Page Morrell understands both sides of the editorial desk as an author and developmental editor-slash-story whisperer. She brings a deeply practical approach to teaching and writes with depth, wit and clarity on topics related to writing. Morrell is the author of Thanks, But This Isn’t For Us, A (Sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing is Being Rejected; Bullies, Bastards & Bitches, How to Write the Bad Guys in Fiction; The Writer’s I Ching: Wisdom for the Creative Life; Voices from the Street; Between the Lines: Master The Subtle Elements Of Fiction Writing; and Writing Out the Storm. Her work also appears in magazines and nine anthologies. Morrell founded and coordinates writing conferences, has been creating columns about the writing life since 1998, and is a popular speaker at writers’ conferences in North America and Ireland. Morrell lives near Portland, Oregon where she is surrounded by writers, gardens, and watches the sky in all its moods.
Please register early. This workshop has a required minimum of eight students.