Workshops

Below are ten workshops I have presented to various writers groups and/or at conferences. The time-length and my fee for giving a workshop, plus any expenses, are negotiable, so please inquire.

Dialogue
Learn the keys to creating unique voices for your characters, common mistakes in using dialogue, looking at dialogue as action, and much more about the spoken words in your story.

Editing –the Secret of “Less is More”
I cut 100 pages from my first manuscript in order to sell it, and that was the best editing lesson I’ve ever had. Desperation is a useful tool! Learn how to use that and many other techniques to sharpen up your story into its best form.

Emotional depth
Learn how to make sure your stories have the “compelling conflicts and emotional complexity” that editors look for and readers treasure. Emotional depth is built into your characters’ motivations, goals, actions and reactions, and into the kinds of conflict in your story. Techniques cut across many separate workshop topics.

Finer Points of Point-of-View (The Writer’s Secret Weapon)
The skillful use of POV deepens characters, emotion, and reader immersion in your story. This workshop goes beyond the basics to talk about POV depth, layers, choice, and style, as well as that modern bugaboo, introspection!

Great Expectations
The start of your story has to hook the reader’s interest right away. But that’s not all! Strong first chapters have to establish at least eight other story basics. Learn what those are, discuss comparative starting points and types of openings, and more. The expanded version of this workshop includes a look at endings, too.

Passive Writing –Find it, Fix it!
Passive writing is almost always a warning sign for “telling” instead of “showing” and quickly kills reader interest as well as pacing. Most often a beginning writer’s mistake, passive writing can creep back into our work when we’re not paying attention or we get a little bit lazy. Learn ways to identify it and fix it.

Setting
Key elements of setting and how to use it to give your story authenticity, not to mention make it unique, while avoiding “world-builder’s disease.” Eight important functions of setting, and eight setting do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.

Show Don’t Tell:
Covers six technique areas that help to sharpen the “showing” in your writing: POV, The Five Senses, Emotion, Action, Specific Detail, and Imagery. Workshop available in both short and extended versions.

Story Structure
Beginning, middle, end –is that all there is to it? A comparison of several different approaches to the secrets of story structure.

Tension –the Engine that Drives Your Story
A story without tension won’t grab your reader. Tension glues your reader to the pages and ultimately creates the pay-off, the satisfaction, at the end. Workshop covers both storyline tension and emotional tension, offering techniques for creating/managing/increasing tension, and how tension relates to both story structure and pacing.