Writing Fiction Workshop

This workshop will support students in pursuing their own projects in fiction . . . working on short story form or writing novels. Instruction will highlight ways to make your writing clear, compelling and engaging. We will focus on building characters that evoke empathy or disdain, and plots that build hope, suspense, and surprise. Our goal is to enhance your command of author voice, character voice and narrator voice.  MSC, Classroom 2, Limit: 15

Gar Roper is the is the founder and managing editor of Cliffside Press, a social media and promotions company for self published authors. He is the author of three novels (completed) and two in progress.

Additional Course Information from Gar Roper:

Course Techniques come from “idea generation” and “creative thinking” literature and approaches, as well as more traditional “how to write” instructional foundations.  We will not ‘attack’ how you write but will build on your own emerging style.   We will be serious about our writing and we will aim to have fun. Bring you lap top or a yellow pad and pencil… whichever you prefer.
This writing workshop will present very original approaches to enhance your writing.
If you are already working on a piece bring it along.  If you want to start something from scratch, that is fine.  There are no reading materials required, but I will have a library of books on writing for you to borrow. A couple of excellent books for reading prior to the course include Wired For Story, and Stephen King’s On Writing.  I will also offer hand outs.
Class sessions:
I.         Who cares?
a.       Identify why you are writing, and who will care to read it
b.       What is a hook… not always a dramatic scene.
c.       Memory
d.       Closure
II.       Empathy
a.       Today’s fiction is character driven.  Make sure your readers care about your characters… whether they love them or hate them
b.       Know who your main character is.
c.       Do your characters reach out to your readers… how?
d.       Avoid soliloquy, monologue and mind reading.  Make thoughts observable in action or let the reader draw an inference
e.       Know what emotion your character is experiencing, but even more what emotion your character evokes
f.        Understand the relationship of the characters on an emotional level
g.       Know your character’s back story
III.     Avoid soliloquy, monologue and mind reading.  Make thoughts observable in action or let the reader draw an inference
IV.    The Author, the Protagonist and the Narrator
a.       Three voices speak in fictional writing… know which voice is speaking (and keep the author mostly or completely out of it.
b.       Avoid teaching, no preaching. If you have something to teach or preach, make sure you don’t spell it out.  The reader must infer the point.  NEVER directly make the point.
V.      What’s the story?
a.       Plot is not story
b.       Story arc
c.       Twists and turns
d.       All stories are stories of love and a journey.  Write down the itinerary
VI.    All the worlds a stage 
a.       Action and acting are the key – Can you picture your scene on stage.
b.       How do playwrights reveal everything, even deepest emotion through action, dialogue, scenery, and costuming.
VII.   There is no writing… only rewriting
a.       Kill your babies
b.       Picture the action on stage
c.       Ignore all of the above rules and guidelines if you want.


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