This is a good workshop for writers who feel unsure about structure. We will consider the possibilities inherent in the restorative 3-act structure used in the film industry. In his book From Where You Dream, Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler suggests accumulating note cards, one for each scene in your novel. Not an outline, this method is, perhaps, more organic, more like a constellation of stars; the note cards allow you to carry your entire novel in your purse or pocket. In addition to working on structure, we will provide feedback on previously written work and generate new writing, including an inciting event and character studies. We will also explore strategies for excavating the most evocative details for place and setting in your novel.
Patricia Henley is the author of four short story collections, two novels, a stage play, two chapbooks of poetry, and numerous essays. Her first collection of stories won the Montana First Book Award. Her first novel, Hummingbird House, was a finalist for The National Book Award and The New Yorker Fiction Prize. Her prose has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, and The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. In 2014, Engine Books published her young adult novel—Where Wicked Starts—co-authored with Elizabeth Stuckey-French. Her play If I Hold My Tongue was given a staged reading at The Kennedy Center in September 2015. Patricia served on the faculty of Purdue University’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing program for twenty-seven years.