Each year we offer writing craft sessions from the best editors and authors in the publishing industry. This year we are excited to announce that we have
Jessica Page Morrell
Jessica Page Morrell is returning, due to popular demand, to teach one of her intensive master classes along with presenting at regular sessions during CAC20.
Jessica understands both sides of the editorial desk–as a highly-sought after developmental editor and an author. Her work also appears in multiple anthologies and The Writer and Writer’s Digest magazines. She is known for explaining the hows and whys of what makes for excellent writing and for sharing very clear examples that examine the technical aspects of writing that emphases layering and subtext. Her books on writing craft are considered “a must have” for any seri
Master Writing Classes
Jessica Page Morrell will teach the morning module ( 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.)
Jessica understands both sides of the editorial desk–as a highly-sought after developmental editor and author. Her work also appears in multiple anthologies and The Writer and Writer’s Digest magazines. She is known for explaining the hows and whys of what makes for excellent writing and for sharing very clear examples that examines the technical aspects of writing that emphases layering and subtext. Her books on writing craft are considered “a must have” for any serious writer’s toolkit.
Master Class: Revision & Editing: Secrets of The Dark Arts
Jessica P. Morrell ©
Once you’ve finished a draft of your novel it’s time to buckle down. Because writers need to learn how to revise and edit themselves. Period. Revision skills are what separate amateur writers from polished and publishable writers.
It’s not easy, and yes it can seem daunting. But then, it’s a learned skill like many others, so we’re going to dig in with a four-step program. Why four steps you ask? You cannot work effectively at all levels of a novel or memoir at the same time. You need to work first with the structure and straighten out the big problems, then move down to the next level. It’s pointless to become preoccupied with single paragraphs or sentences if the whole structure is shaky. After all, some of those paragraphs you’re obsessing over might not make it to the final draft. In fiction, you’re assuring that each of the three acts—intro or set up, adding complications, resolving the conflict, all exist in the right proportion and contain the appropriate twists and reversals. In the same way, you need to tackle each chapter, section, subsection, paragraph, and sentences.
This workshop is designed for fiction writers and memoirists to refine your first draft in thoughtful, organized steps.
Step 1 begins with the macro or larger picture that includes the story arc and inspired fixes for pacing and plot holes. During this vital first pass, you make certain you’ve got all the necessary scenes and start weeding out the chaff. The first pass also focuses on balance and determines if there is too much or not enough exposition, if the transitions work, and if the dramatic central question carries through each of the three acts.
Step 2 is all about tracking your key characters with a special focus on motivation and goals. Are they consistent? Memorable? Do the members of your cast have distinctive voices? Do their arcs make sense and is the protagonist interacting with the antagonist and secondary characters enough? Do any characters feel flat, contrived, or is there too much focus on one?
Step 3 examines individual subplots, scenes, and dialogue. Are the subplots needed and can they be tightened? Is there too much or too little dialogue? Do the dialogue scenes need to be cut off sooner? Can you omit attributions and their descriptors? Do the scenes contain tension and forward momentum and have you included cliffhangers?
Step 4 (finally!) means you’ve reached the copyediting stage where refine you until you cannot stand it anymore are satisfied. You might still be tightening, fixing typos and punctuation, placing “perfect words in perfect places”, amping up verbs and adding music to your prose through alliteration and figurative language.
This workshop includes an exercise so please bring in 3 copies of your opening 5 pages to edit. You’ll receive a cornucopia of cheat sheets and handouts, and learn tricks of the trade from a developmental editor with more than 25 years of experience.
J.D. Barker will teach the afternoon module (1:30 – 4:45)
Master Class: Constructing and Deconstructing a Novel
Constructing and Deconstructing a novel – this former book-doctor has worked on hundreds of novels over twenty plus years and credits that experience with teaching him what works and what doesn’t in today’s publishing world. He’ll pull back the curtain and walk you through the building blocks necessary to tell your story in a way that will resonate with readers, agents, and editors.
Seating is limited. Register today!
If you would like to take the Master Classes without registering for the Chanticleer Authors Conference (but you will be missing out!), click here.
For more information about CAC19, click here.