Plotting: The Dark Art
This is a one-day workshop:
Saturday, September 19, 10am-4pm (6 hours)
About the Workshop:
Join James Patrick Kelly for a weekend of lectures, slides, exercises, anecdotes, contests, and other hijinks in which he will talk very quickly as he attempts to explain everything he has learned about plotting in the last forty years. No matter how long you’ve been writing, you’ll discover that you too can make up inciting incidents, startling twists, thrilling climaxes and telling denouements with the best of them!
Although in some circles, plot is regarded as secondary to characterization and perhaps even not all that important, in this workshop deft plotting is a regarded as a virtue. Various experts have opined that there are only three basic plots. Or seven. Or nine. Or twenty. They are all probably right, but merely knowing the difference between the Rags to Riches plot and the Voyage and Return plot isn’t going to help you get your protagonist out of those tight fixes she seems to wander into with alarming regularity. Plot and character are to story as wave and particle are to the electron; they can’t be separated since they are different aspects of the same thing. But for the dark purposes of this seminar, we will pretend this isn’t so and take a very mechanistic view of plot. Over the ages, writers have developed schemes and techniques and shortcuts and, yes, tricks of plotting (What, mistaken identities again, Mr. Shakespeare?). We’ll look at many of the easiest, the best and the most dangerous of these. Only those who feel certain that they can resist succumbing to the dark art of plotting should plan to attend.
About the Instructor:
James Patrick Kelly has won the Nebula, Hugo and Locus Awards; his fiction has been translated into eighteen languages. His most recent books are King Of The Dogs, Queen Of The Cats (2020), a novella from Subterranean Press and a collection, The Promise of Space (2018), from Prime Books. He recently retired from the Stonecoast Creative Writing MFA program after spending fifteen years on the faculty and has had the honor of teaching Clarion West and Clarion fourteen times. But who’s counting?
This class will be held online via Zoom. Students should plan to test their video and microphone in advance. Click here for more information about our Zoom policies.
Are there minimum age requirements to enter the event?
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Are there any scholarships available?
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