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Friday, April 6 • 11:45am - 1:00pm
2: A Man Walks into a...: Writing Compelling Scenes in Fiction FULL

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The most powerful short stories and novels are built on a foundation of great scenes. Scenes convey the fears and desires of characters in tense, funny, wonderful real-time action—so why are they so difficult to write? In this discussion class, we'll explore the 3 P's of great scenes (person, place, and problem) and discuss how to get in and out of a scene efficiently. We'll discuss the difference between scenes and summary, and why rooting our most emotional moments in scenes is so much more effective than analysis or "habitual time."

Works to examine will include Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?"; Denis Johnson's "Emergency"; Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love"; and others.

We will also start a short writing exercise, turning exposition into realtime scenes.

avatar for Blair Hurley

Blair Hurley

Blair Hurley received her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.F.A. from NYU. Her stories are published or forthcoming in West Branch, Mid-American Review, Washington Square, Hayden's Ferry Review, Descant, Fugue, and elsewhere. She has received a Pushcart Prize and scholarships from Bread Loaf and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Her debut novel, The Devoted, is due in summer 2018 from WW Norton... Read More →

Friday April 6, 2018 11:45am - 1:00pm
Cambridge Room - 4th Floor