ABOUT THE CLASS: Scenes are the building blocks of a novel. But while a scene is advancing the bookâ€™s story question, each scene is, in itself, a story in miniature. This workshop focuses on how to develop a scene that is chock-full of character development, conflict, emotion, andâ€”for the readerâ€”a vivid sense of “being there.” We begin with establishing the scene goal of the focal character, along with levels of motivation, emotional stakes, and expectations. Then we consider the opposition, because there can never be a straight line from wanting to getting. How does the focal character deal with the antagonist, which might even be her own inadequacy or fear? We explore why the character must meet with disaster in every scene. Failure means a new plan, or a change of goals. Success is worse, because it always leads to unexpected consequences. WeÌll examine the initiating incident, scene openings, working with scene and sequel, character intimacy through focused POV, ways to create exciting scenes and settings, and how to draw the reader into the next chapter. Above all, weâ€™ll never lose sight of the most important element: translating events into feelings. Every scene, every “beat” in a scene, must evoke an emotion in the character that resonates in the emotions of the reader.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Lynn Kerstan, former college professor, folksinger, professional bridge player, and nun, is the author of nine Regency romances, seven historical romances, and three novellas. She is presently developing a paranormal series. A five-time RITA Finalist (one win), she is regularly featured on awards lists. Since Romantic Times launched its “Top Picks” feature, every Kerstan novel has been a Top Pick. Two have been selected by Library Journal for its “Best Books of the Year” list (2002 and 2003), and Dangerous Passions was named to BooklistÂ´s Top Ten Romances of 2005 list. For many years a teacher of English literature and writing at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and the University of San Diego, Kerstan now conducts popular-fiction workshops for writers groups and conferences. An Internet junkie, she can be found online at www.StoryBroads.com, blogging with Anne Stuart, Maggie Shayne, Patricia Potter, Tara Taylor Quinn, and Suzanne Forster. Kerstan lives an exemplary life Coronado, California, where she plots her stories while riding her boogie board, walking on the beach, and watching Navy SEALs jog by. She wrote two more Special Editions for Silhouette, but she preferred other kinds of fiction, so when she was asked if she would be interested in writing a Victorian mystery series for Berkley, she jumped at the chance to explore her love of mysteries. She contacted her brother-in-law in London and he found old, original London newspapers from the 1880s and a host of books on Victorian households. These books and newspapers were priceless guides to her understanding of the Victorian world of Inspector Witherspoon and Mrs. Jeffries.
In addition to writing the Mrs. Jeffriesâ€™ series, she has also written six Young Adult novels for Berkley under her maiden name, Cheryl Lanham. Emily and her family live in Southern California.
Coming in February 2010â€“ â€œFast Draft and Revision Hellâ€ with Candace Havens In the first two weeks you will learn a step-by-step process to help you finish your work in progress and in the second two weeks you learn how to polish your manuscript.
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