Teaching

WORKSHOPS I teach:

Self-Publishing from A to Z: The Nuts and Bolts of Making Your Own Way

Self-publishing is a wonderful option for many authors, but what is involved? This workshop is a primer for the basics of being an author-publisher. We’ll start with questions to determine whether your book is a good candidate, then move on to the details of releasing a finished product and finding your readers. If you’re sitting on the fence, this workshop can help you make an informed decision.

Something to Talk About: Speaking Publicly About Your Book

Social media is good, but sooner or later, an author must add public speaking to their toolkit, in order to increase their visibility. This workshop will offer ideas for organizing material and overcoming fear when making presentations to an audience, as well as a chance to practice in a supportive environment. Events from launch parties to sharing a spot on a panel, to being a guest speaker will be covered.

How Well Do You Know Your Characters?

Yes, they hang out in our heads and nag us until we put them on the page, but how well do we really know our characters? Digging deeper into their lives can uncover plot points, motives, and bring our writing to a higher level. This workshop offers methods to help you understand who these people really are. Bring one of your characters along and be prepared to strengthen your story by learning more about them.

Storytelling is Murder

Like any genre, mysteries need great characters, but they also need a puzzle to be solved within the pages. The same techniques used by screenwriters to create an interesting crime solved by fascinating characters can be used by novelists to write a compelling story. This workshop will take a look at an episode from a popular TV mystery series and what makes it work. Be prepared to dissect, dismember, and disembowel a 50-minute TV show, then be amazed at how much you’ve learned.

Funny How? How Am I Funny, and How to Write It

 “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” Humor is difficult to define, and there is no magic formula for writing it. The person who tells hilarious stories often cannot translate the comedy onto the page. Even when you write well, it’s often hard to tell if you’ve hit the audience’s funny bone. Whether you are writing in the humor genre, or infusing wit into your latest mystery, romance, etc., this workshop is meant to help you improve your comedic presentation. We’ll discuss the kinds of problems you might encounter, and suggest possible solutions for punching up your punchlines.

Flash Fiction: Tell Me a Brief Story, Briefly

Flash fiction is work of extreme brevitythat still offers character and plot development, typically identified by word count. This workshop explains the rules of flash fiction, offers some interesting ways in which it can be used, and places it can be published. It will also give the participants a chance to participate. Come in and write your own brief story—how short can you make it?

Rhythm, Pace, and Amusement

Along with a good plot and characters who feel real, a story has to pull the reader from the first page to the last. This requires writing that keeps the reader engaged and wanting more. We’ll discuss how to plump up flat sentences, and how to make sure each scene keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.

What’s the Point? Story, Subtext, and Plot

Authors write books because they have stories to tell to the world. Whether it is to impart a lesson, or provide entertainment, the author who understands what story they are trying to tell and why they are telling it, is more capable of producing a book that resonates with readers. This workshop will discuss ways of drilling down to the core of your story, and layering it throughout your book.