“Writing” is different than “storytelling.” You can write beautiful English and sumptuous description and crisp dialogue but, as literary agent Kristen Nelson says, “I think writers assume that good writing is enough. Well, it’s not.”
Using instruction packed with examples that generate insights and sprinkled with writing exercises, the workshop delivers some of the “how-to” that the pros use for successful storytelling. It covers three factors:
1. How to grab your reader on page one. What does it take to get the reader to turn the first page? What is the goal your narrative must achieve on the first (and all subsequent) pages? You’ll learn about the benchmark/criterion you should hold every page of your story to.
2. How to bait your hooks with tension. What is it, exactly, that gets a reader to turn the page? You hear about “tension on every page,” but how do you create it? You’ll explore ways to create tension and how to keep it building.
3. How to create characters readers connect with. Story comes from characters—the decisions they make and the actions they take. We’ll cover “the gap” and how it powers stories. The strongest stories keep readers turning pages because they care about characters. You’ll gain insights into four techniques for creating irresistible and involving characters, including a good bad guy.
Workshoppers will learn:
- How to hook readers on the first page
- Techniques for creating and building story tension
- Techniques for creating characters that engage readers
Note: I did this workshop at the San Miguel Writers’ Conference (Mexico) this February, and it worked quite well. Out of 44 evaluations, 28 5s and 12 4s were given, for an overall average of 4.5.
Using copious examples, three writing exercises, and discussion, this workshop teaches how-to insights into and techniques for grabbing your reader on page one; holding onto your reader with tension, story questions, and conflict; and creating characters (including good bad guys) that involve readers in their stories.