The Propulsive Plot: Strategies for Building Suspense in the Novel (with Debra Jo Immergut)
Every novel should be, in some sense, a thriller. In this workshop, we’ll read excerpts from page-turners by authors as varied as Otessa Mossfegh, Jesmyn Ward, Dennis Lehane, Ian McEwan, Toni Morrison, and John LeCarre. Through readings, lecture, and discussions, we’ll identify the essential components of suspense and gain an understanding of how to hook readers fast and build a mystery that keeps them engaged. Together, we'll learn some simple, foolproof tricks for cranking up the momentum in any type of work, how to use character to inform plot, and how to play with unreliable narrators and multiple points of view. We'll also discuss how to steer clear of cliches and gimmicks.This three-hour workshop will benefit writers working on literary or commercial novels, at any stage of development, from a vague notion to a towering stack of pages.You'll leave with strategies for increasing tension and suspense in your work (or idea) in progress. We will do some in-class writing exercises and you will have an opportunity to get group feedback on your premise, if you so desire.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
DEBRA JO IMMERGUT is the author of You Again, forthcoming from Ecco/Harper Collins in July 2020, and The Captives, a 2019 Edgar Award finalist for Best Debut Novel by an American Author, published in the US by Ecco and in over a dozen other countries. She has also published a collection of short fiction, Private Property (Random House). Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Narrative, the Wall Street Journal, and The Boston Globe, among others. She is a winner of Michener and McCloy fellowships and has an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
WHEN: Sunday, June 7 (1 - 4pm)
WHERE: Online, via Zoom
Refund & Credit Policy at PVWW
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