2020 Summer Writing Retreat – “Finessing Fiction: Moving Your Work to the Next Level” with Charlotte Gullick
August 4, 2020 - August 27, 2020$269
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Class Meeting Times:
“Finessing Fiction” will meet for a total of four sessions on Tuesday evenings in August: 8/4, 8/11, 8/18, 8/25
6:00pm to 9:00pm CDT on Zoom
Have you already toiled for hours on a first draft and are wondering where to go from here? Or maybe you have dozens of pages of ideas, fragments, scraps of dialogue—all those little gems you’d like to bring together into a compelling work of fiction. In both scenarios, you’re likely ready to take the next big step and uncover a clear sense of what is needed to take your work to an improved level. In this class, registrants will write, strategize, grow, connect, and plan. Along the way, you’ll pick up new ideas for defining your writing life as well finessing what you have into a more complete, engaging story.
Session #1: What’s Already Good, What Needs Improvement: In this first session, we will fire up our resolve to develop what we have into what we need. We’ll consider the importance of plot, causality, and scene. Additionally, we’ll connect with other writers, identify best practices, and pinpoint goals for the next three sessions.
Session #2 / Considering the Reader: We will explore what pulls the reader out and what demands that they stay as well as explore the importance of setting and the senses. In addition, we’ll study how simultaneous actions contribute to an engaging story that readers cannot refuse.
Session #3 / Identifying Action and Surprise: This session will focus on the key elements of action and story as they define compelling storytelling. We’ll dive into the character sins of omission and commission and investigate how they relate to secondary characters and subplots. We’ll also create an action plan that includes micro goals and accountability partners.
Session #4 / Finessing on the Line Level to Deepen the Work Overall: In this final session, we’ll study techniques for improving the work on the line level and for improving the entire project. Sometimes spending time with a single sentence can unlock the needed insight and perspective to understand the work more globally.
This class is for writers who have started a fiction project, have generated a bit of material, and are now ready for a clear plan for moving the material into greater strength and coherence. Both novelists and short fiction writers will find the material useful.
Participation: It’s recommended that participants be present for scheduled class time. Sessions will be highly interactive. There will be 1-2 small group activities per session that will not be available to those who access session recordings afterwards. The instructor will be available to answer any questions in real time only.
Homework Expectations: Registrants will be asked to read the novel We the Animals by Justin Torres (over the course of the month). Each week, there will be an assignment in response to that week’s reading, thinking about character action and development, plot, surprise. Additional short readings/podcasts will be assigned each week; they will include interviews with Toni Morrison, Angie Thomas & articles by Daniel Jose Older, Walter Mosley, Jason Reynolds, and Michael Noll.
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Class & Event Registration Policy
Once a purchase has been made, registrations are not refundable and cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a registration and then find you cannot attend the class or event, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at email@example.com and let us know the name and contact information for the person who will be using the registration so that we can update the class or event roster.
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HOW WLT CLASSES WORK:Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.
If you haven’t taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to email WLT Program Director Sam Babiak at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.
HOW ONLINE CLASSES WORK:
Once you register for the class, you’ll receive an email with detailed instructions no later than 48 hours before the class date. You should expect 2-2.5 hours of direct teaching and 30 minutes of Q&A (for three hours total). If you need to leave the class early or can’t attend the class on that date, all registrants will have access to the recording for one month after the class date. No microphone or camera required, just an Internet connection capable of streaming video. All online classes are hosted on Zoom. To learn more about how Zoom works, click HERE.
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This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.