An event every week that begins at 6:30pm on Thursday, repeating until Thursday, August 20, 2020
Join acclaimed novelists Peter Geye and Rebecca Makkai for a conversation on the craft of writing the novel.
The great advantage of prose (over theater, film, and life) is that we’re privy to characters’ interior states. But how can a writer get thoughts and emotions across, other than by stating them flat-out or by updating us constantly on breathing and heart rate? We’ll explore ways to use tangent, gesture, backstory, action, association, and more to give characters a rich internal life without resorting to the old cardiopulmonary check-in.
In most novels, stories are comprised of one scene built atop the next. A child witnesses their father commit a crime; a dinner party goes off the rails; a woman prays in a church; a storm rolls in across the range; a limousine driver kidnaps a wealthy business man; the scenes might be anything, and they might be two paragraphs long or twenty pages, but they all require attention to certain details. In this workshop, we’ll look at a selection of scenes from contemporary fiction and discuss the ways in which they function and succeed. We’ll also talk about strategies for how the writer—whether beginner, intermediate, or advanced—might make better use of their time by strategizing and planning and, mostly, imagining their next scene.
The cost for this three-week program is $150.00. Write On members receive a 10% discount. To become a member, please click here. To register online for this program, please click here. For other registration options, please call 920.868.1457.
Peter Geye is the author of four novels, including Wintering, which won the Minnesota Book Award and the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and Northernmost, scheduled for release in August, 2020. He teaches the Novel Writing Project at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. He holds an MFA from the University of New Orleans and a PhD from Western Michigan University. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and continues to live there with his family.
Rebecca Makkai’s latest novel, The Great Believers, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. The novel won the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize and was named one of the New York Times’ Ten Best Books of 2018. Her other books are the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the collection Music for Wartime, four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. Rebecca is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University and is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.