Off Campus Writers' Workshop - OCWW

Rebecca Makkai - Interiority Complex

  • October 06, 2022
  • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • ONSITE - 620 Lincoln Avenue, Winnetka, IL /REMOTE

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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. 

Rebecca Makkai’s last novel, The Great Believers, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; it was the winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Book Award, the Clark Prize, and the LA Times Book Prize; and it was 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. A 2022 Guggenheim Fellow, Rebecca is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada University and Northwestern University, and is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago. Her new novel, I Have Some Questions For You, is forthcoming in 2023.

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