Fiction

Fiction

Workshops are offered in both in-person and interactive online formats. Enrollment is limited to 12 so that each participant receives the individual attention she or he needs and so that a writing community can more easily form. I offer two levels of workshop:   Introduction to fiction Writing and The Process of Fiction Writing


Introduction to Fiction Writing

You love to read fiction. And the more you read, the more stories of your own swim or fly or dance in your head. You want to write them down.

But where to begin? You’re a good writer; writing may even be a large part of your job. Maybe you’ve kept a journal for years. So why the heck can’t you get that story out?

In this low-stress, six-week class, you won’t be asked to complete a piece of fiction (experienced fiction writers can take months to complete a story). Instead, we will explore where stories come from, techniques for generating ideas, and the process of writing, and engage in in-class writing exercises that will encourage you to play with the basic elements of fiction: setting, characterization, time (scene versus summary), point of view, narrative stance, dramatic tension, language.

While you will be asked to share your work, you don’t need to worry about it being torn apart. The atmosphere will be friendly and open, and will nurture your creative spirit. You will look at the process of writing fiction from the inside out—as writer rather than reader. And you will learn where and how to begin.

Note that while the class is designed for writers with no previous fiction-writing experience, it is also beneficial for people who have taken an introductory fiction class but who completed it long ago, and for fiction writers who have gotten out of touch with their writing and need a jump-start into fresh work.

Fee: Six Weeks (12 hours), $325

The Process of Fiction Writing

This mixed-level, ongoing workshop (eight weeks at a time) is for writers with some fiction-writing experience who are seeking further instruction and feedback. Workshop participants can share their work in one of two ways:

A week in advance, writers can distribute copies of their work (up to 20 pages) to each workshop participant. Participants will read and comment on the work at home. The following week, we will discuss the work as a group. The writer will sit quietly and listen. At the end of the discussion, the author will be invited to comment or to ask questions. This is the traditional “workshopping” format used in most MFA writing programs.

The writer can bring a shorter piece of work (up to four pages) to the workshop and read aloud to the group—a scene or two, an exploration of a character, an exploration of back story, and so on. The writer is an active participant in the discussion.

My role as workshop leader is both moderator and coach. Participants can expect an environment that is both highly supportive and rigorous. There is no shredding of anyone’s work in this (or any) workshop. We do not try to “fix” a writer’s work—it is not broken; it is in process. We do not impose our own style and approach on the writing of another participant. Instead, we honestly respond as readers and ask questions about the work with the intention of helping the writer find the heart of the work—what the work is trying to say—and the hearts of the characters—who they truly are. You will be challenged in this fiction workshop, but never battered.

Fee: Eight Weeks (16 hours), $420

Workshop Schedule

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