My online classes can start anytime and anywhere, but I’m slated to teach several classes in the Madison area in the coming months. Here’s where you can find me:
Fiction Writing Workshop (4 meetings)
4 weeks; Thursdays, 6-8pm; Neighborhood House Community Center, 29 S. Mills St.
Are you interested in working with a small group of fiction writers with similar goals? This supportive and critique-based workshop combines brief lectures on craft with a traditional workshop focused on your writing. For people already writing original creative work, this workshop will help sharpen your skills while working toward completion of publishable work. We’ll discuss and refine manuscripts with instructor and peer feedback.
Section 1: Th, Sept 13–Oct 4, 6-8pm
Section 2: Th, Oct 18–Nov 8, 6-8pm
(You may sign up for both.)
Essentials of Writing: Point of View
Sat, Sept 29, 10am-noon; Neighborhood House Community Center, 29 S. Mills St.
First, second, third; limited, omniscient, unreliable; deep, shallow; present tense, past tense—we’ll unpack the many choices available to writers when it comes to point of view (POV) and the strengths and weaknesses of each. Your narrator is the medium through which readers access your story, so the choice is very important. We’ll help you make that choice. Open to writers of all levels.
Essentials of Writing: Dialogue
Sat, Oct 13, 10am-noon; Neighborhood House Community Center, 29 S. Mills St.
A lot goes into writing dialogue. There’s an art to the speech, which can’t sound exactly like spoken English but also can’t be as formal and articulate as written English. And then there’s the question of what you do in between the lines of speech—the action beats or stage business, as it’s sometimes called. We’ll look at practical techniques for creating compelling dialogue and what pitfalls to avoid. Open to writers of all levels.
Essentials of Writing: Story Structure
Sat, Dec 1, 10am-noon; Neighborhood House Community Center, 29 S. Mills St.
It’s one of the most exploited of all writer insecurities, especially among novelists: does your story have the right structure? We’ll examine the psychological underpinnings of the dramatic arc, and we’ll examine and evaluate several paradigms for story structure. You’ll come away from this course with a better idea of which “plot points” are truly essential and which are optional. Open to writers of all levels and genres.
Weekend with Your Novel
Nov 9-11; Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St, Madison, WI
On Creating Suspense
We all know that suspense is one of the main motivators for readers to keep reading, but how does suspense work exactly? What are the main drivers behind suspense and what kinds of suspense can you create for your stories? This class will give you an abundance of ways to create suspense.
On Developing Character Arcs
The corollary to the external plot’s various plot points and acts and whatnot, character arc traces the internal evolution of the main character over the course of your novel. This session will explore the imperatives of character arc and will give tips on how to make sure it escalates and results in a satisfying resolution that is true to character and reveals theme.
Contact me for more information.