$225.00 USD

A figure on a dark stage

A Workshop in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction
Taught by Lisa Borders
5 weeks
January 3 to February 5, 2021
There will be an introductory Zoom meeting at 2 pm ET on Sun January 3
Class limit: 12 Questions: lisaborders@cleavermagazine.com

The writer Sandra Scofield describes a “pulse”—that spark that makes the story come alive— as a vital element to all scene. This pulse is especially crucial for opening scenes, as many agents and editors report that if they are not hooked on a manuscript within the first five pages, they will not read on.
But what is a “pulse,” and how can a writer ensure that each scene—not just the opening— has one? How can we write in such a way that our characters come to life, that a scene breathes emotion and urgency, while moving the plot forward and keeping tension taut?
In this class we’ll look at opening scenes, pivotal scenes and transitional scenes in published novels and memoirs, analyzing them for a “pulse”—that spark that makes the story come alive—and for the ways in which they hook the reader, introduce the characters, and (for opening scenes) signal the book’s scope. We’ll define the elements of a scene and discuss techniques for writing scenes that breathe emotion and urgency while moving the plot forward and keeping tension taut.
We’ll also workshop an opening scene from your novel or memoir in progress of no more than 1800 words in length, applying a checklist to help you determine whether your book’s opening passes the “pulse” test—and if not, strategies for creating a first scene the reader can’t put down. You will then revise these scenes, or submit a new opening scene for instructor feedback.

For more details and a syllabus see: https://www.cleavermagazine.com/workshops/

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