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Wonder to Writer

The Elements of Popular Fiction

What is “genre” fiction / “popular” fiction? How is it different from so-called “literary” fiction? What makes a story a story rather than just a recitation of events? This workshop explores these concepts and provides a foundation for other workshops in the series.

Elements of Popular Fiction: Character

What makes a character like-able – or NOT like-able? Why are some characters so  memorable? How do you differentiate between characters in a story that is chock full of them? This workshop explores character as one of the three key elements of a story and shows students how to craft deep, engaging, and active characters for their stories.

Elements of Popular Fiction: Setting

From pastoral fields that glisten with hope and promise to gritty futuristic hellscapes littered with the decayed relics of a dead or dying civilization, a story’s setting can be  both backdrop and active agent in a good story. This workshop explores setting as one of the three key elements of story and shows students how to make their story’s setting more than just the place the characters hang around doing stuff.

Elements of Popular Fiction: Plot

A story’s setting gives readers a sense of place and time and grounds them in a world. Characters make readers care. But plot – plot makes readers do the one thing the others simply cannot do on their own: It makes them NEED to turn the page. This workshop explores plot as one of the three key elements of story and shows students how to seduce their readers and keep them coming back for more.

Storycraft for Game Masters

When writing a short story or novel, the author gets to control the story line and characters from start to finish. Game Masters have a different – sometimes more daunting – task. GMs must build a world, conceive of a story, and then let other people help them tell it – blending their players’ voices and ideas with their own to create a beautiful and cohesive tale. This workshop explores the differences between writing for readers and writing for players and shows students how to set the stage for an immersive and inclusive experience that stays true to their creative vision.

Self-Editing for Popular Fiction Writers

It has been said that “writing is re-writing.” While that is true, it is also true that writing is writing and re-writing and then re-writing again and then swearing and then starting over and then screaming a lot before finally going back to the first revision to try that again because you kind of liked that bit. While this struggle cannot be eliminated, there are some basic things that every writer can do when reviewing a manuscript to eliminate many common problems and clear the way for the real editing to begin. This workshop explores common