A Two-Night Mini Online Course
Have you ever been given the writing advice, “show, don’t tell”? Join author, agent, and freelance editor Linda Epstein to find ways to do just that in your novel. You’ll learn how rich sensory details and well-placed small actions can create vivid settings, grounded dialogue between characters, and an authentic “world” for your reader, whether it’s in realistic fiction or a fantastical realm. You’ll also have an opportunity to try out what you’ve learned via writing exercises.
This program is a great fit if you’re looking for a short course of two, 75-minute sessions offering limited interaction with the community, but a lot of information (with opportunities for creativity).
- Tuesday, January 9, 2024 (7pm – 8:15pm Eastern)
- Thursday, January 11, 2024 (7pm – 8:15pm Eastern)
- Webinar-style program with closed captioning available and limited interaction in the chat
- You’ll have access to the recordings through February 29, 2024.
Why This Workshop?
One piece of advice that writers get often is to, “show, not tell.”
That feedback is common and relatively easy to appreciate on a surface level.
But it’s another thing entirely to put into practice consistently as you write and edit. Even an intriguing plot, a snappy set of dialogue, or a surprising setting can fall flat if you don’t create a rich reader experience around it.
Join author, agent, and freelance editor Linda Epstein to explore how to follow this advice from a practical perspective. She’ll cover two main aspects of building an authentic world for your characters, including:
- Sensory Details. For example, learn how something as simple as well-timed nature noise can remind us why the setting of a scene is important, or provide a much needed pause in a conversation. Those real-feeling details invite the reader into the story, and bring it to life.
- Small Actions. For example, learn how one character grabbing the hand of another can provide a window into their relationship, or build or break tension. Those actions mirror real and relatable moments.
You’ll also further expand your storytelling tools, and learn:
- How to avoid extraneous backstory (“info dumping”),
- Ways to “stay in scene” when moving through your narrative,
- Analysis of a variety of examples, including excerpts from Repairing the World,
- And more!
- None included in the course. There will be limited interaction in the chat feature of the webinar-style program. (Bring something to write on and write with for the in-course exercises.)
It’s a Great Fit if…
- You write chapter books, middle grade, and/ or teen fiction or memoir, or you are looking to start writing for this audience.
- You have an idea, a work-in-progress, or a completed first draft. You can participate in this short course with or without a work in progress.
- You’ve heard the advice, “show don’t tell” but aren’t sure what that means. This program will help you understand this common piece of feedback.
- You’re looking for something short, sweet, and smart! This is not a full workshop, instead it is two, 75-minute sessions meant to engage and expand your storytelling tools.
At registration: You will receive a Zoom link to use each night of the course.
IF YOU CAN’T ATTEND LIVE:
If you are unable to attend either session for any reason, you’ll have access to the recordings (with closed captioning) through February 29, 2024.
Please note that if you register for the course after the start of the first session, you will not receive recordings immediately. You’ll receive both recordings after the close of the last session, usually within 24 hours.
All Times are Eastern Standard Time.
Part One: Tuesday, January 9, 2024 (7pm-8:15pm Eastern)
- Using sensory details in novel writing
- Show versus tell
- Extraneous backstory (“info dumping”) versus necessary information
- World-building and setting examples from Repairing the World
- Additional texts to consider
- Writing Exercise: Part One
Part Two: Thursday, January 11, 2024 (7pm-8:15pm Eastern)
- What does it mean to write in scene?
- Using sensory details to tether dialogue to setting
- Examples of writing in scene from Repairing the World
- Additional texts to consider
- Writing Exercise: Part Two
- Open Q & A
How It Impacts Kids
Kids gravitate towards books that offer an immersive experience. Join Linda Epstein to learn new tools for crafting deeply engaging books.
Testimonials from Our Community
“Linda Epstein was fabulous. She really created an inclusive and warm atmosphere, while always also focusing on professionalism. She is eloquent and insightful and open minded.”
“Keep the mini courses going for those of us that can’t attend at the Highlights Foundation Campus! It helps us stay in touch and keep our skills growing!!”