2012 Workshops

Writing Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances/Geoffrey Cameron Fuller
Much genre writing—especially science fiction, fantasy, horror, speculative fiction generally—unfolds in times that never were and places that exist far, far away. However, no matter how far from reader reality, the world of your story has to be comprehensible and believable. Your imagined world must ring true in the ways that count. Alien intelligence, bizarre physics, jumbled timestreams, and outlandish flora and fauna: the imaginary elements must be both surprising and inevitable. This class will help you adjust the telling details according to the type of book you are writing and the type of audience you seek, and show you some techniques that can imbue the imagined with just the right amount of realism.

Self Publishing & Edeals/Jason Jack Miller
Learn how self-publishing got me a book deal and why this path could be right (or completely wrong) for you.

Deviance in Fiction/Nikki Hopeman
What is at the root of all stories? Conflict. Conflict emerges when a character behaves deviantly. A partner commits adultery, someone is murdered, or a tyrant takes the throne. The common thread through all genres is deviance. Come explore how to use wicked behavior in your writing to increase tension.

Invisible Writer/Michael Knost
Once there was a writer who wanted to be invisible. He tried all sorts   of things, but nothing worked. It seemed the harder he tried the more visible he became. He decided one day to work his quill a little deeper into the inkwell. With the extra ink on the tip, he realized he could get more words to the paper per dunk, but it didn’t make him invisible. Then he stumbled onto something while editing a particular paragraph and realized he had found his hands becoming transparent. Nearly dropping his quill, he scribbled harder as his arms and shoulders erased away before him. By the time the chapter was finished, he was completely invisible to the naked (or merely underdressed) eye. He knew he’d found the secret! Fearing the information would get into the wrong hands (namely the dreadful literary illuminati), he transposed the secrets on a rolled parchment, placed it in an package, and mailed it to Michael Knost, who wishes to share the secrets with a select group of writers hoping to become invisible, too!

Binge Writing/Sally Bosco
Inspired by some of the pulp fiction masters, this workshop presents an organized method for writing a novel in three days. It covers: coming up with a suitable story idea, creating a workable outline, creating a “building block” system for your chapters, making the physical preparations, getting psyched, building creative pressure, making the emotional preparation, silencing your inner critic, then gaining the momentum to finish the project. Sally includes the experiences she had with her own crazy-three-day-writing-experiment.

Psychic Development for Writers/Lee Allen Howard
Psychic development is not just for a gifted few. It’s for everyone human, and especially for you as a storyteller. This workshop will help you discover the innate skills of clairvoyance, clairaudience, and clairsentience. By exercising your psychic sensing mechanisms, you widen your inspirational channel, empowering you to create stories that resonate more deeply with readers. Come prepared with a specific project in mind to strengthen your imaginative abilities.

How to Write a Better Fight Scene/Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
This 50-minute presentation focuses on creating and maintaining conflict in the narrative. Combining the philosophy of Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer and Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey, and using examples from the original Star Wars trilogy (due to its vast reach), we will examine various techniques for creating conflict, maintaining conflict and keeping the tension rising without exhausting the reader. We will then relate these techniques to the story question in order to build to a satisfying climax. Along the way, we will explore concepts of the reader/writer contract, how to fulfill the needs of the reader, the differences between hero and villain, how to make a satisfying bad guy/girl, how to make the hero earn her victory, and above all–how to use conflict to keep the reader reading.

Creating Communities with Secondary Characters/Shelley Bates
You’ve created a hero to die for and a heroine to challenge him but what about all the other  people in your story world? Learn how to create compelling secondary  characters—best friends, buddies, exes, families, and coworkers—who  create foils and contrasts for your main characters, who build the  communities your reader wants to come back to, and who become the main  characters for the next book.

YA Dystopian/Maria V. Snyder
Dystopian novels like Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 have been around for years and teens have been forced to read them for years. So what’s up with this hot new trend? Why is it so popular? Is the trend here to stay? What’s the different between YA dystopian and adult? Are the books too dark and depressing for teen readers? These questions will be explored and debated during this workshop.