Exploring Fiction with Anna Jordan // Starts November 3

Exploring Fiction with Anna Jordan // Starts November 3

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Whether you are new to fiction writing or you’ve been making things up for as long as you can remember, the Exploring Fiction workshop is accessible for a wide range of writers. Together we will explore the elements of fiction writing, including developing scenes and characters, using dialogue, writing effective voice/prose styles, creating and resolving character conflicts, along with editing and revising the different developmental stages of a manuscript/story. Additionally, we will participate in peer review workshops and further develop our ability to read fiction as a writer.

In an interview about her novel, Commonwealth, Anne Patchett wrote: “Most of the things in this book didn’t actually happen, but the feelings are very close to home. Or, as my mother said, ‘None of it happened and all of it’s true.’” I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a better definition of fiction. 

I once heard that a fictional story starts with a lie (something untrue or made up), and becomes a bigger lie, and grows into an even bigger lie that ultimately reveals the truth. And that’s what we’re aiming for in this workshop: exploring what it means to tell the truth by way of a whole bunch of wildly untrue things. Not just “the names have been changed to protect the innocent” style events, but absolutely completely straight from creative pockets of your brain stories.

In this workshop,  you will:

  • Write and edit an original short story

  • Practice writing different styles, voices, and points of view

  • Dig deep and be brave

  • Dive into the salty pits of conflict 

  • Set things on fire, solve big mysteries, jump headlong into romantic drama, etc.

  • Refine your craft and have a fabulous time doing it

  • Read short stories from a stellar reading list

  • Write, edit, revise, repeat

In this five-week workshop, you can expect:

  • Robust weekly lessons with writing prompts emailed to you in PDF form starting on the first day of the workshop, and every week for a total of four weeks

  • Admission into an active private online forum: a place for Q&A, exclusive access to instructor,  support and feedback, and the opportunity to build writing connections/community

  • The option to participate in one small group (3 students: 1 instructor) video call

  • Full edits on one 5-8 page short story plus additional edits and feedback weekly on dialogue, setting, and character development writings

Week 1: Who Are You and What Do You Want: Conflicts and Characters

Week 2: Showing and Telling: Scene and Setting

Week 3: Talk It Out: What Makes Good Dialogue

Week 4-5: All Writing Is Rewriting (Short story submission*, workshop, and revision)

Dates: November 3 - December 8

Note: If you are working on a novel, hurray! We won’t have time in this short workshop to read and revise a novel, but you are welcome to choose an excerpt (that meets the page limits of the assignments) for workshop. All of the lessons will be applicable for both short stories and novels. 

Number of spots available: 10


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Anna Jordan is a writer, adjunct professor, and procrastinator of laundry living in Santa Barbara, CA with her husband Kiah and her three wild children. She attempts to maintain her sanity by reading, running, practicing yoga, and drinking too much coffee.

You can read her C+C essays here.