July 13 - August 31 • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM (EST)
About the workshop
Let your wounded characters heal and transform you as the writer in the process. The sacred process of story writing is an act of creation that facilitates radical healing.
As your characters heal their wounds within the scaffolding of structure, you can learn to listen to their whisperings to better understand yourself and why.
In this generative workshop experience, you will learn to understand narrative structure and how creating characters who have the capacity to change determines plot. Over the course of the workshop, I will introduce structure of short-form fiction through examples of literary works. We will engage in group-led analysis of structure through these example works of others. Then, a deep dive into narrative structure by way of the wounded character. You will learn the sacred process of structuring a story by writing wounded characters that can act as containers for our own traumas and pain. In learning how they transform, you will open new pathways to healing while allowing them to bear some weight of pain.
What you will learn
Students will learn the foundations of story structure including character roles and how they function (protagonist, antagonist, catalyst, etc.); how to determine a character's emotional wound; how to use these wounds to understand characters' feelings and how to use emotion to develop a character's narrative timeline; how to ask characters "why", and how to use those answers to better understand and care for the writer within; and, how to become inspired by what our characters teach us. Overall, students will learn how characters drive plot and structure. By unraveling character psychology, students will better understand their own innerworkings. In a traditional workshop setting, students will receive constructive feedback on their work and learn how to deliver feedback to others.
Students will leave with a firm grasp on how to navigate the process of short story writing with tools that can assist in the personal process of transformation and healing. At the culmination of the workshop period, students will be inspired to learn more from their characters and will have an early partial or full draft of a story which will be ready for future revisions. What's more, students will leave with a sense of belonging and community within the group atmosphere we create during the workshop.
What you will be reading
one short story example TBD + the works of peers
Class meeting dates:
About the instructor
Emily Jon Tobias is an American author and poet with her debut story collection, MONARCH, forthcoming by Black Lawrence Press in May, 2024. She is an award-winning writer whose work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, along with other honorable mentions, and has been featured in literary journals such as Santa Clara Review, Talking River Review, The Opiate Magazine, The Ocotillo Review, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Tahoma Literary Review, Big Muddy, and elsewhere. Midwestern-raised, she now lives and writes on the coast of Southern California. She holds an MFA in Writing from Pacific University Oregon.