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Writing Fiction

Session / Presenter
Location / Time
Jun 05
Fri - 2020
Using the Power of Myth to Energize Your Stories
Christopher Ernest Vogler
1:00pm to 4:30pm

Presenter: Christopher Ernest Vogler

Mythic stories touch us deeply with their rich imagery, associations and appeal to the senses. Hollywood story consultant Christopher Vogler will guide you through the labyrinth of mythic and fairy tale structures, and will offer techniques for accessing the hidden power of these ancient and beloved story forms. Writing exercises will show how you can involve the whole array of the senses to stir strong emotions in the bodies and minds of your readers.

Jun 06
Sat - 2020
We Want to Believe (or How to Lie Better)
Alex Dawson
10:10am to 11:40am

Presenter: Alex Dawson

A guy gets on stage and does a trick. Aztec Lady, Bullet Catch, Zig Zag Girl. It's a con. A dodge. The gun is made to fire blanks. The boxes are bigger than they seem. It's the person watching, their readiness to believe, that fills the deception with wonder and makes it magic. So, too, with writing. Fiction is a lie, by definition. And writers are liars. Shame on them. It's the reader's regard, their eagerness to give credence, that makes a story emotionally compelling and elevates it to art. A good lie rings true. And reveals truth. In the nineties, a poster hung above the desk of FBI agent Fox Mulder (and on the bedroom wall of every self-respecting X-phile): I Want to Believe. And it's true. We want to believe. In fact, we first believe, then, if the writing falls short (and if often does), we make a conscious effort to disbelieve. Whether you're writing about ordinary occurrences or an epic mytharc to rival X-files, the appearance of truth, that is to say, verisimilitude, is essential. We'll talk about concrete particulars and sensory details. About writing what we know (which simply means: if you don't know it, learn it). How an inside eye creates trust, what Coleridge might call "poetic faith." Good writers are farmers and mechanics and doctors and hunters. If we believe in the gun being cleaned, the Q-tip and the rifle grease, we're likely to believe in the werewolf at the door. We'll talk about putting the familiar (or natural) against the unfamiliar (or supernatural). The tangy smell of seaweed dying, for instance, alongside the metallic sheen of a mermaid. About credibility when accuracy is impossible (and it often is). What does battery acid taste like? Flat Sprite with a penny in it? Maybe. What does it feel like to have wings? To spontaneously combust? To turn invisible? Let's find out!

Jun 06
Sat - 2020
Using Regional Folklore and Local History in Creating New Fiction
Jez Lowe
1:40pm to 3:10pm

Presenter: Jez Lowe

Musician and songwriter Jez Lowe hails from North Eastern England, a region steeped in folklore and with a turbulent history of border conflict and industrial turmoil. Much as he has done in his 40 year musical career, Jez has tapped into his regional heritage when producing both of his recent novels, The Dillen Doll in 2017 and The Corly Croons in 2020. His fictional characters inhabit an accurate social context, where historical events fuel the immediate plot and encourage the overall development of the story. While Jez embraces the gifts of such strong inspiration, he is also keen to attest to both the advantages and hazards of such an approach. He will be examining these contrasting attitudes in his work and will also be encouraging his audience to consider their own regional heritage and how it might be applied to their own writing.

Jun 07
Sun - 2020
Who Says?: A Discussion of Point of View in Fiction
Lisa Zeidner
2:50pm to 3:50pm

Presenter: Lisa Zeidner

An introduction to the complexities of fictional point of view. It's much more than just "I" or "He"! We'll discuss how point of view shades the story, as well as what you can do--and can't do--once you choose.