2018 Conference Details Coming Fall 2017

Scroll down to see what we offered in 2017

Marc Cameron – From Start to Finish

How do you move from an idea to a finished project? In a class that will cover strategies for new authors as well as seasoned pros, we’ll discuss:

  •  Pre-writing research and techniques that will help keep your story focused
  • Tools to keep track of multi-layered plots and how they add tension
  • Ideas to keep track of logistics in both series and stand alone projects

Ally Condie – If you Built It, They will Come: Making Setting Work for Your Characters and Your Readers 

Setting gives context, grounding, and dimension to your story. It can be as important as a character; it brings your reader in and establishes a place and time both connected to others and uniquely belonging to your work. How do you keep it strong without letting it overwhelm your novel? What are the ways setting informs plot and character (and vice versa)? Whether you’re writing speculative, contemporary, or historical fiction (or something in between), we’ll look at settings in our own work and those of others and think about how we can answer these questions and others regarding our own works-in-progress.

David Gill – Say What? The Talking Two-Step of Dueling Dialogue

Great dialogue does several things at once:  It moves the plot ahead; it raises and adds complications; it amps up tension and provides comedic relief; and it reveals character—all at the same time while sounding perfectly natural, even though there’s nothing natural about it. We will learn about techniques for writing great dialogue, practice advanced techniques with hands-on activities, and even learn a little linguistic theory while we’re at it.

J. Scott Savage – Creating Powerful Scenes

Imagine each scene of your book as a cube. Inside the cube, you have the basics: Who is doing what, where, and why are they doing it? Now, divide that cube into a series of layers.Characters: What do they notice? Why? Are they testing or questioning something they believe? What is the prism they see the world through? World: What is invisible and visible to the characters in the story? How can I world build without slowing the pace? What was the story flow before the scene started? Moving the story forward. Engaging the reader.Creating tension. Each of these interlocking layers makes your scene more powerful, and if you don’t have enough layers it may be a sign you need to cut the scene. In this two hour intensive, we will learn how to dissect a scene into each of its individual pieces and reassemble the pieces into powerful story elements which are key to your story.

J. Scott Savage – Four Part Pacing

 Since he first developed it for a writing group at WIFYR, Scott’s Four Part Pacing system has helped hundreds of writers solidify their storylines and tighten the pace of the plots. Unlike plotting tools which tell you what should happen, Four Part Pacing is designed to tell you when key story elements should happen and how they tie together. Scott has taught an abbreviated version of this class before, but this intensive will go into much greater detail on each section with examples, specific instructions on dos and don’ts, and a chance to discuss some of your own story elements. Come prepared with a notebook and an existing story you are working on because we will be doing some team work as well. This is a tool you can use all the way from initial outlining to creating a synopsis.

Kristen Tracy – How to Deepen Your Characters: Creating a Character Sheet

Building authentic characters is essential to writing a good book. Some writers intuitively know, through multiple rounds of revision, how to create well-grounded characters. Others guess at it until they get it right. In this class, I’ll share with you everything I know about deepening your characters. I’ll guide you through a checklist to gain insight quickly into both your main and secondary characters. Often, you end up knowing your characters much better after their journey is over and the novel is finished. This checklist will help you gain practical knowledge faster into every aspect of your character. In turn, this will help you strengthen dialogue and scenes. No matter where you are in the process of writing your novel, you’ll walk away with important tools for refining your novel’s entire cast.

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”

Virginia Woolf