Good fiction hinges on the elements of craft, which take time and effort. But some elements of fiction are less mysterious, easier to pick up, and fun to throw in. We'll talk about five useful tricks that generate interesting, dramatically rich scenes, and we'll generate a series of quick, funny pieces that may develop into full stories. We'll also talk about how these tricks can be retrofitted into your existing drafts to make them more exciting.
Juan Martinez is the author of the novel Extended Stay (2023) and the story collection Best Worst American (2017). He lives near Chicago and is an associate professor at Northwestern University. His work has appeared in McSweeney's, Huizache, Ecotone, The Sunday Morning Transport, NIGHTMARE, NPR's Selected Shorts, Mississippi Review and elsewhere.