"Karen, do you see what you are doing
to me, and all the rest of my fellow writers too? You are...so
motivational! A new assignment comes and I have to sit right down and
write. I even have to sit right down and write when there isn't an
assignment. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
"I'm having a blast--I've learned so much thus
far! [I enjoy] the enthusiasm, the encouragement, the respectful tone of
the critiques...the reaching out to one another.... I'm a
believer now and plan on additional classes after this one."
Weekend Writer: Crafting Your Short Story
Facilitator: Karen Hertzberg
you haven't got time to write? Think again! All
you need is three weekends (just weekends) to complete a short
story from idea to first draft. This workshop will provide the basics to
help you get started and stay motivated.
does it take
to get a short story rolling? It all begins with a good character who
needs or wants something, and the obstacles that stand in his or her way.
We'll learn how to uncover intriguing character in fascinating
situations--they key to stories that keep readers turning pages.
to get a short story rolling? It all begins with a good character who needs or wants something, and the obstacles that stand in his or her way. We'll learn how to uncover intriguing character in fascinating situations--they key to stories that keep readers turning pages.
Week Two: Vivid Description/Making a Scene
As Stephen King says, good descriptive writing makes a reader, "prickle with recognition." We'll go in search of the prickle, learning to write brilliant details that resonate for our readers. Then we'll learn to compile tightly written scenes that move our readers from one piece of the story to the next by sustaining tension and drama.
Week Three: Time to Write!
Now that we've collected piece of the puzzle, it's time to put those pieces together into one fully-realized picture. You'll receive hand-outs and tips throughout the week to help you craft your story, and we'll wrap up with a full-scale critique of your opening scene(s) to help send you on your way to completing a polished piece of prose.
Books recommended on this page are not required reading for participation in the course. Required materials, if any, are listed in the course syllabus.
The Writer's Idea Book
With the aid of author Jack Heffron's prompts, you'll unearth lots of new ideas. You'll explore ideas you already have and figure out which ones to ditch. You'll even find new ways of seeing things you've already started. "The secrets to getting ideas aren't really secrets," says Heffron. "Open your mind and heart. Open your eyes and ears. Take risks. Trust your talent and your instincts." And remember: don't write about the things that seem like good ideas. Write about the things that thrill you.
What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers