If you’re looking to get into writing, get back into writing or keep writing this spring, check out the following at the Westport Writers’ Workshop.
This innovative, one-on-one program combines personalized instruction in the craft and art of fiction with inspiration toward your writing goals. Based on the mentoring segment of the MFA in creative writing, the program provides support for your project and you as a writer from a writing professional who understands publishing and the writing life.
Here’s how it works. Every week and a half you’ll email one submission of up to 10 pages of short or long-form fiction in Word.doc or .docx format. You’ll receive your commented pages back within one week, unless otherwise noted, with feedback in the form of line editing, comments and queries, and an overview of the pages with particulars on craft elements. The program is suitable for literary, upmarket and genre fiction.
The program goal is up to 40 pages of new and/or revised work.
Also included/planned are:
- Three Zoom Meets: The first occurs at the start of the program to discuss your project and goals. The second occurs around the program midpoint to review any questions or considerations. The last occurs at the program close to answer remaining questions and plan next steps.
- Readings: With each commented submission, the mentor will include suggested readings on craft elements that need further development.
- Resources: Handouts on craft and writing resources, a bibliography tailored to your needs and project, a checklist that defines key craft elements and questions to consider for each element.
Scenes are the building blocks of fiction, but what makes a scene strong, fully realized and effective, and why do some scenes fall short? This workshop explores all these aspects and more. We’ll consider such key elements as backstory, interior and exterior dialogue, the role of setting, and how to develop character and advance plot at the same time. We also examine how to structure scenes in a section or chapter to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. The workshop is suitable for short and long-form fiction of all genres. We’ll also explore aspects of scene revision so writers should bring their current projects to share and for Q&A, examples and discussion.
Fiction writers often ask how to convey their characters’ emotions—the real question is how to provide readers an emotional journey of their own. Using The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Write the Story Beneath the Surface, by longtime literary agent Donald Maass, we’ll consider the three modes of conveying emotion, the emotional world, the meaning and arc of emotion, emotional plot, the reader’s emotional journey and the writer’s emotional journey. To explore how to find, write and revise for the emotional story, we’ll also use examples and exercises, and each writer can submit up to five pages weekly to the group and instructor. Why is it important to consider emotional experience when writing fiction? Because readers don’t just read, they respond, and in ways all their own. Join us to discover the deeper emotional connection with your writing, your story, your audience and yourself.
For more, visit Westport Writers' Workshop.