RASP Presents:
A FREE Fiction Workshop: People, Places, Things

Facilitated by Rebecca Meredith

October 7, 14, 21, 28, 2020 from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon

Join RASP cofounder, poet, and fiction writer Rebecca Meredith for a weekly, four-session writing workshop on the three main elements of every good story: compelling characters, an evocative setting, and a plot that keeps the reader reading. Sessions will include a reading packet with short examples of work that show various approaches to the topics (to be sent out prior to the first class), didactics, writing time, and breakout groups. Students may share work for feedback, but this is not a critique group.

Note: This will be an adults-only class, but all skill levels are welcome. Students may choose to work on existing pieces or generate new work. Classes will be conducted via Zoom. A Zoom link will be sent with the reading packet.

Class size will be limited to 15. To register, please send your name and email address in the body of the email to RMeredith@mail.com no later than September 28, 2020. Note: Please use "RASP Fiction Workshop" as the subject line of your email message.

Class Sessions:

  1. People (October 7):
  2. Learning objective: To create believable, compelling characters who resonate with readers and make sense in the context of the writer's story. What makes a character work? What elements in the creation of both main and secondary characters make them not only believable but fascinating? This session looks closely at how physical characteristics, desires and fears, background, voice, and response to conflict make the people we create draw readers in and make them care. We will also briefly look at writing about those who differ from us in gender, ethnicity, age, ability, and class. We will have writing time to create a primary or secondary character, or flesh out one from a work in progress, and give feedback in breakout groups.

  3. Places (October 14):
  4. Setting can be a character in a piece of fiction as much as a person. The environment where a story takes place provides atmosphere, creates tension, and may act as a metaphor for the fears and desires of its characters. In this session we will look at examples of setting and how language used to describe the world that characters inhabit can give their story depth. We will create or embellish our own story settings and discuss them in breakout sessions.

  5. Things (October 21):
  6. In other words, the story. Now we have worked on character and setting, it's time to put one foot after the other and create the particulars. In this session we will discuss what makes a plot move forward to make the story's larger point. What tools can the author use to keep on track, to weave together story lines, to get from beginning to "The End" and leave the reader satisfied? We'll look at plot devices, necessary obstacles, and tying up (or not!) the loose ends.

  7. Epilogue (October28):
  8. The final session will be for unanswered questions, sharing work, swapping favorite resources, and discussing goals as writers in the world. We'll have a writing prompt that invites you to incorporate the three core writing elements into a piece of flash fiction, and we will say goodbye.