You can’t tell a great story without great scenes, but this basic unit of storytelling often gets glossed over. What clever tricks can you use to juice your scenes with more impact and emotion? In the first half, Matt will work through his Scene Work checklist, then in the second half, he’ll move on to Theme. What’s the difference between theme and moral? How can you use ironic dilemmas to magnify the meaning of your story? Matt will bring lots of examples and some new videos.
Matt will accept manuscripts for critique. Please see manuscript guidelines for details.
Matthew Bird has an MFA from Columbia University, but a lot of the advice he hands out now is the opposite of what he was taught there. He is the author of the bestselling writing guide “The Secrets of Story: Innovative Tools for Perfecting Your Fiction and Captivating Readers”, published in 2016 by Writer’s Digest Press. He lives in Evanston, Illinois with his wife and two adorable children. Matt can be reached on his website: www.secretsofstory.com
All great literary thrillers have a few things in common: a streamlined plot, unrelenting tension, and complex characters. In this class, award-winning author Abby Geni will share her insights about how to write a page-turner, covering everything from plot architecture to unreliable narrators to red herrings. We will focus on infusing your work with tension through pacing, point of view, dialogue, description, characterization, and even setting. The literary thriller has something to teach writers working in any genre. We will talk about how to create a powerful inciting incident, how to deepen and strengthen your plot, and how to arrive at a satisfying ending.
Abby Geni is the Chicago-based author of The Wildlands (September 2018), The Lightkeepers, winner of the 2016 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award for Fiction and the Chicago Review of Books Awards for Best Fiction, and The Last Animal, an Indies Introduce Debut Writers Selection and finalist for the Orion Book Award. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of the Iowa Fellowship. Her website is www.abbygeni.com
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