Writing as Resistance
April 29, Multnomah Village
Space limited to 12 participants. $60
Some times especially call for potent voices, clear-eyed analysis, and informed dissent. But what form should this take: opinion pieces, essays, fiction, poetry, social media engagement, or some hybrid expression? And how do you achieve a thoughtful exploration of themes?
This workshop will explore various formats and options for writers. We’ll read together several examples; we’ll discuss tone, language, focus and effectiveness. Together we’ll brainstorm and share concepts, themes, and markets. Our special focus will be on stepping out of the echo chamber and into original thought tied to our own experiences.
Participants will begin a new work and have an opportunity to create a community of like-minded writers.
Why Your Characters Do What They Do
Willamette Writers meeting, April 4
The Old Church, Portland, Oregon
Motivation and stakes drive fictional characters to act, take risks, and get into heaps of trouble. And then more trouble. These two devices also reveal and distinguish characters, create drama and conflict, and propel character growth. Motivation stems from a potent brew of a character’s traits, beliefs, background, values and subconscious drives. Stakes drive a protagonist, and the best stories result when stake are personal and high. If the protagonist can just walk away without personal consequences, anything he or she does can feel contrived. But when he or she must accomplish something important and individual, it’s more believable and gripping.
We’ll look at examples from various genres using fiction, film, and television. We’ll also discuss tropes to avoid, how to create opposing and complex motivations, and how to mix things up with new plot developments.