2014 WORKSHOPS

PREVIOUS CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS

Character IS Conflict
The first of a four-part series, this seminar on the nature and power of conflict stands alone or works in conjunction with the other seminars Eric Witchey will present during the conference. –Witchey

How to Write a Sizzling Sex Scene
It’s not about sex, it’s about writing. Sex scenes are notoriously difficult to write, to strike just the right balance between good taste and totally offensive. This popular workshop will have you rethinking everything about portraying fictional relationships. –Engstrom

The Art of the Thriller
We examine the hallmarks of the thriller genre: high stakes, larger-than-life characters, high concept, exotic settings, and suspense. You’ll learn from concrete examples of how to use these concepts to make your thriller impossible to put down. –Reed

Knowledge is Power: Mastering the Art of Research
You may be an expert on your characters and plot, but to bring a fully authentic world alive on the page requires writers to delve into a whole range of unknowns. Veteran Oregon journalist and author Susan Palmer shares her ten top information-gathering techniques, including laser-like Internet searches and how to find real experts when virtual ones won’t do. –Palmer

Dwelling in the Worlds of Imagination
Q and A with Terry Brooks

Making Sense of Point of View
Choosing a point of view can be one of the most challenging decisions a writer of fiction must make. We will explore options for POV and discuss the particular challenges and rewards of each.  –Swanson

Emotion-Driven Fiction
The second in a four-part series, this seminar on managing the reader’s emotions by presenting character emotion demonstrates the use of the ED ACE paradigm. The seminar stands alone or works in conjunction with the other seminars Eric Witchey will present during the conference. –Witchey

From Idea to Printed Page
A step-by-step look at the stages a novel goes through on its way from the writer’s brain into the reader’s hands. See the raw, unvarnished truth about finding inspiration, writing and revision, the editorial process, finding the right cover look, the mysteries of marketing…and more! –Wiggs

Let’s Make a Scene
We explore scene structure in detail and learn the eleven critical elements that make every scene come alive. You’ll learn how to give your scenes that all-important aftermath. –Reed

The Art of the Short Story

Short stories are vibrant little bites of fiction that can serve many purposes, from a creative outlet during a novel-length marathon of writing, to a soul satisfying sale. The author of many, many published short stories talks about their unique structure and how to write them with speed and grace. –Engstrom

The Tapestry of Character
Characters are neither good nor bad, but have a generous mix of many different traits that provide a rich mix of motivations. Elizabeth George knows characters, and she knows how to craft them with precision. –George

The Business of Being a Writer
Author and Consumer Advocate for AARP Ron Burley will talk about the business end of being a writer, from write-offs to record keeping. A good refresher on what’s legit and how to take advantage of it. –Burley

How the Reader Breaks Your Writing
The third in a four-part series, this seminar explores the way the reader’s mind processes text and misinterprets the intentions of the author. The skills presented in this seminar are applicable to issues of voice and proofreading. As with the other seminars in the series, the sessions stands alone or works in conjunction with the other sessions. –Witchey

Creating Suspense

What’s about to happen? We must frame the all-important dramatic (story) question, keep the action intense, make the danger feel real, and drive emotions to a fever pitch. All the while, time is running out!  –Reed

Story Anatomy: The Bones of a Novel

People, like novels, come in every shape and size, yet no two are exactly alike. But peel back the cover—the skin—and you’ll find that everyone has a remarkably similar skeleton that gives us our shape and structure. Novels, whatever the genre, also share a skeletal framework called story structure. In this workshop, we’ll examine the elements of three-act structure and the Hero’s Journey, both in terms of structuring your story during the creation process, and how to use these “bones” of story structure as tools in the revision process. –Evans

Finding Fiction in Reality
When people ask you where you got your ideas, can you tell them they’re ripped from the headlines? It’s not necessarily as simple as that, but reality can make for some excellent fiction, with a little work. –George

The Emotional Journey as Fiction
Got issues? That’s great! A troubled character makes for good drama in fiction. Learn to build believable characters and character arcs that will resonate with your readers. Bring your work-in-progress and prepare to roll up your sleeves. –Wiggs

Editing Tools for Writers

It’s hard for writers to evaluate their own work objectively – that’s why it’s great to have an editor! This session will teach you some techniques editors use to make paragraphs flow and sentences sing, without extensive rewriting and revision. You’ll walk away with tricks and tools you can use to read and improve your own–and others’–writing. – Marshall

Write a Story NOW
In this fast-paced, group brain-storming session, Eric Witchey will facilitate the group creation of a short story. This session can stand alone, but it will make use of the concepts presented in the first three seminars of Mr. Witchey’s four-part series. –Witchey

Populating your YA Novel
Young Adult novels are heavily character-driven. In this session, we’ll explore ways to create characters that leap off the page and stay with your reader long after they put your novel down. –Swanson

Finding Reality in Fiction
Your readers need to believe in the world you build, no matter the genre. From realistic dialogue to perfect environment, bring your questions for this session with Terry Brooks.

Pathology of the Criminal Mind
If you want your bad guys to be realistically bad, this is a workshop for you. –Rodgers

Last Draft, Final Polish

This class will give solid strategies for finishing the final draft of your book and then readying it for the marketplace. Topics will include endings, revisions, final checklists, editors, and how to do it all when the next book is tugging on your consciousness.

Mastering Dialogue

“True Masters of Dialog,” he said, “know that dialog must advance your story or develop character—or be chopped.” This workshop gives you tips and techniques that make your dialog crisp and sparkling and keeps your reader reading.  –Reed

The Craft Lab

At Wordcrafters, we’re all about the craft of writing. Good fiction is good fiction, whether it is mystery, romance, science fiction, literary, horror, experimental, or fantasy.  In the Craft Lab, conference attendees will have an opportunity to sit down and meet, uninterrupted, one-on-one, with a conference presenter. You may discuss your plot, characters, pacing, problems, or review the opening page or two of your work.

PREVIOUS CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS