Read like a Writer/Write like a Reader
Tony Earley, whose recent New Yorker story "Backpack" is today's topic, says this: "Journeys in fiction are almost always metaphorical. It’s a dirty little writer’s secret. The same thing with thresholds. In a good story, a doorway is never just a doorway. When a fictional character crosses a bridge, he’s not just on the other side of the river—he’s in a different world."
Let’s take the story apart in the workshop: how does Tony's character cross from one world into the other? And back? It reminds me that we're all "Bozos on the Bus." I think Wavy Gravy said that.
Working from examples, we'll explore how a straight linear journey drives the narrative, and how, by inserting complications (bridges, portals, doorways, thresholds, other characters,) the journey can navigate between worlds without losing the narrative. Then we'll work from prompts to generate our own journeys and explore the narrative urgencies.
Examples provided are from, e.g. Murakami, Melville, Ulysses, Mohsin Hamid ("Exit West"), Alice in Wonderland, Italo Calvino, Zadie Smith, Erin Morgenstern ("The Night Circus"), Gaiman, Kerouac, Yann Martel ("Life of Pi") Add others in the comment section!
Please have them available either on your device or printed out.
Download and read these files. You don't have to print them out, just have them available on your device for the workshop.
AND bring with you a book that’s taking you on a memorable journey, a short passage marked to read out loud. We’ll explore mapping out those trips, figuring out how X gets to Y, what happens once he does (or does not) arrive and then play with generating our own. I’m bringing my latest obsession - Exit West.
AND AND - remember that the door is locked, so please come on time as someone will be downstairs to let you in. If you’re late, call the # posted on the door -[masked].
Please, if you're not coming, change your RSVP to "no".
contact me at [masked]
Workshop leader: Riki Moss, a BWW member since 2015, attending and leading workshops and retreats as she struggles through a hair-pulling draft of her second novel. Her first, An Obese Gentleman In No Apparent Distress (North Atlantic Press) was a fictionalized collaboration. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, has several short stories in anthologies, and a previous life as a potter/sculptor.