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Block 9 [clear filter]
Sunday, April 5

10:15am EDT

9D: Hero of Another Story: the Antagonist that Drives the Story Forward
Limited Capacity seats available

The best stories have antagonists who, in another book, are the heroes of their own story. While your main character should be the only one to whom the story can happen, a multi-faceted person blocking your protagonist from their goals drives the plot forward and creates compelling, gripping fiction. With exercises and discussion, this workshop will help you get to know your antagonist, how they oppose your protagonist, and how to be as invested in them as you are in your main character.  

avatar for Anne Gaughen

Anne Gaughen

A. C. Gaughen is the author of the Scarlet Trilogy (Scarlet, Lady Thief and Lion Heart) and the Elementae series (Reign the Earth, Imprison the Sky). She serves on the board for the non-profit Boston GLOW, creating opportunities to encourage and engage teen girls in the Greater Boston... Read More →

Sunday April 5, 2020 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Hancock Room - Mezzanine Level

10:15am EDT

9I: Essentials of Voice
Limited Capacity seats available

Voice is arguably the storyteller’s most powerful tool. Voice, after all, is what tells the story. Voice is integrally tied to atmosphere, tension, mood. Voice helps make characters come to life and off the page.

This workshop will help us develop this most essential device for characterization and plot. Combining close readings with writing prompts, we’ll identify and try out various techniques for how to listen for and develop voice in order to help us create authentic characters and stories that speak to us and through us to the reader. Get ready to start creating interesting, distinctive voices.

avatar for Mona Awad

Mona Awad

Author, BUNNY
Mona Awad was born in Montreal and has lived in the US since 2009. Her debut novel, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl (Penguin), won the Amazon Best First Novel Award, the Colorado Book Award and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Arab American Book Award. It was also long-listed... Read More →

Sunday April 5, 2020 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Whittier Room - 4th Floor

10:15am EDT

9M: Working Backwards: Understanding & Leveraging How Readers Think
Limited Capacity seats available

To write is to create a spell that moves an imagined world from one mind to another. Giving form to the intangible is a solitary and exacting task; it is easy get lost in the intricacies of craft, and forget that however beautiful or potent our words may be, it is only when a reader utters them that the spell is cast. 

This session examines the reader’s role in summoning these visions. Using insights from cognitive neuroscience, and a close examination of our own responses as readers, we will focus on how the brain perceives and processes text, how it constructs an entire world from ink marks on paper. We will notice that the same words can conjure up quite different images for different people, and attempt to understand why that is so. We will talk about how certain details are experienced viscerally, and why some are more vivid and memorable than others. We will also look at larger, overarching questions like how narrative structure shapes a reader’s experience, or the reason conflict is considered so crucial to a story, and whether there are other ways of achieving similar effects.

You will come away from this discussion with a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the readers’ perspective, which will help you appreciate the impact of the words you put down, and evaluate the consequences of your creative choices. This session is appropriate for writers of all levels, at all stages of their work. The insights gained here can be applied while writing a first draft, during editing or even revision. 

avatar for Tasneem Z. Husain

Tasneem Z. Husain

Tasneem Zehra Husain is a theoretical physicist and a writer. Her work has appeared in Nautilus, as well as various anthologies of science writing for both adults and children. She is a columnist for 3quarksdaily.com, and the author of the popular science novel Only The Longest Threads... Read More →

Sunday April 5, 2020 10:15am - 11:30am EDT
Cabot Room - 4th Floor