An intensive look at the bones of story structure, designed for lyrical or experimental writers who want a look at traditional rules of creating narrative arcs with strong, forward-moving tension. The hope is that inventive material, in prose or film, can be strengthened by applying these dynamic techniques. In-class exercises will supplement discussions using one story idea brought in per workshop member, (maximum of one page, either bulletized, outlined, or written out as summary). The principles of drive and conflict, rising action, character illumination, and backdrop will be studied. Come have your movie-viewing ruined forever by gaining the x-ray vision that will enable you to see the storytelling maps that link the scenes.
Katherine Vaz was a Briggs-Copeland Fellow in Fiction at Harvard University (2003-09) and a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2006-7) as well as a Harman Fellow at Baruch College in New York. Her collection Fado & Other Stories won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and Our Lady of the Artichokes won a Prairie Schooner Book Award. Her third collection, The Love Life of an Assistant Animator, was published in April, 2017. Her novels include Saudade, a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers selection, and Mariana, translated into six languages and selected by the Library of Congress as one of the Top Thirty International Books of 1998. A novella, Living in a House on Fire, is due from TOR in 2018. Her novel The Portuguese Night Blessing, a twelve-year project, has been recently completed. Vaz has published numerous stories in magazines and children’s stories in anthologies. She’s a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.