September 2017: Advanced Writing Workshop with Alicia Rasley

September 2017 Workshop Description

Workshop 1:  Emotion without Sentimentality

In this interactive workshop, bestselling author Alicia Rasley will help you explore two “non-purple-prose” ways of creating a compelling emotional experience for your reader: Story Design and Scene Design. You will leave with some seriously useful (but easily applied) strategies to deepen your story and scenes, and you’ll have a chance to ask Alicia for advice on your own work.

In Story Design, Alicia will explore how the entire book plot can be shaped to create emotion in the reader. She will guide you to find the event arrangement approach that’s best for you and your story. Interactive exercises using your own material will help you tighten and focus that approach to help maximize drama.

In Scene Design, Alicia will zoom in on the building blocks of plot, the scenes, to help you learn not just to describe emotion in your scenes but to create emotion in your readers. Using scene design, body language, and the “magic rule of three,” you can learn to set up the reader for the emotion you will provide—without purple language or overwriting. You’ll also learn to help your readers “be” your characters within dramatic and intense scenes.

Workshop 2: Intensive Pacing Workshop—5 Steps to the Page Turner 

Pacing is the art of making things happen so that the reader keeps reading. Easy to describe, hard to do. But in this fast-paced pacing workshop, you will get targeted tips to help you improve your story’s pacing, whether it’s faced, measured, or leisurely. We’ll discuss:

  • Determining the appropriate pace for your story.
  • Macro-pacing 1: The Three Acts and how to pace them.
  • Macro-pacing 2: The Turning Points and pacing.
  • Mid-level Pacing: Designing scenes for pace.
  • Prose and Pacing: Pacing up your language.

Join us for an interactive, multimedia workshop which will help you discover useful solutions for the major problems writers face as they move beyond plotting into presentation. This friendly and conversational workshop will be helpful to the writer just starting out as well as the writer who has advanced enough to encounter sophisticated writing challenges!

Alicia’s Bio:

Alicia Rasley is a bestselling and award-winning author of romance and women’s fiction. She has taught hundreds of writing courses online, also teaches writing at two state colleges, and advises students in a university writing center. Her book, The Power of Point of View, was a Writer’s Digest monthly selection. Alicia has served as a fiction and non-fiction editor for both large and small presses, and blogs about writing and editing at www.edittorrent.blogspot.com.

Event Recap

Our September workshop was held on Sunday, September 10, 2017 and was an all-day (retreat-style) workshop. This meant we had one workshop from 10am-12:30pm, broke to all go to lunch together, and had a second workshop from 2:30-4pm.

The presenter, Alicia Rasley, is a bestselling and award-winning author of romance and women’s fiction. She has taught hundreds of writing courses online, also teaches writing at two state colleges, and advises students in a university writing center. Her book, The Power of Point of View, was a Writer’s Digest monthly selection. Alicia has served as a fiction and non-fiction editor for both large and small presses, 

In the morning workshop we went over pacing and tricks such as linking devices and motifs to help your story feel cohesive to the reader. She also took us through plotting in three acts and cause-and-effects and goal-oriented pacing. We also went through scene analysis and beats, using examples from the films Casablanca and Love Actually.

The afternoon workshop was on “Emotion without Sentimentality” where we explored ways to create emotional experiences for the readers. She started by nailing into our brains the fact that emotion is not about how we, the writer, feels, or even about how our character feels, but about how we can manipulate the reader to feel. We examined different poems during this workshop to see examples of emotional writing, and we looked at story design, scene design, and upbeat/downbeat structure to get the emotion across.

In addition to her fantastic delivery and examples, Alicia also prepared a 30 page handout for us to take home, with tons of additional information for us to read on our own time.

 For more about Alicia, check out:

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