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Master Class Intensives

Thursday October 10, 2019

The Compass of Character: Creating Complex Motivation for Compelling Characters in Fiction and Non-Fiction

One hears it trumpeted at every writers’ conference, in every seminar and workshop, in every creative writing class: The fundamental question for every individual—whether a fictional character or one from real life—reduces to this: What does she want?

True, desire compels action. But desire possesses various levels and cross-currents, working in harmony and discord.

In this day-long master workshop, award-winning author and teacher David Corbett, employing techniques explored in his forthcoming book, The Compass of Character, will guide students through various strategies for creating complex motivation for compelling characters.

These techniques, intrinsic to understanding the portrayal of human behavior on the page, will prove beneficial to writers of both fiction and non-fiction—anyone hoping to convey human interaction in narrative form.

Together we will investigate the four key elements of longing. Using this groundwork, the class will learn how to explore the individual’s past to discover what transformative moments have shaped the habitual behavior—the “pathological maneuvers” and “persistent virtues”—that define their approach to life at the story’s outset.

From there, the class will explore how the need to act presents internal, external, and interpersonal struggles, which together force the individual to challenge the assumptions and behavior that have guided them up to this point in their lives. Those challenges, step by step through the narrative, will oblige introspection and offer the opportunity for personal transformation, whether that opportunity is embraced or not.

Finally, the class will explore the many occasions when Desire and Yearning go astray, the manner in which individuals mistake or misunderstand what they genuinely want, or when they find themselves longing not for a dream of life, but a nightmare.

Full Day:          Conference Attendees $80
General Public $125

Master Class Intensives - Half-day

Sunday October 13, 2019

Who wants to buy my book? How to Develop a Media Savvy Marketing Plan

With 1 million plus new books published annually, how do you find lovers of history who will want to read your book and get it into their hands? On average, a U.S. nonfiction book will sell fewer than 250 copies per year, and fewer than 3,000 copies over its lifetime. The majority of books get little marketing help from the publisher as more costs are pushed toward the author. You are on your own to develop and implement a marketing plan.

This hands-on workshop will help you to analyze your book or story idea, identify platforms to connect with your audience and develop a marketing plan. Learn how to examine themes as a means of finding your audiences. The surprise for many authors is that there is seldom a singular audience, rather multiple audiences and marketing outlets. We will use worksheets and diagramming tools to assess events, characters and settings within your story material, increase your understanding of who your readers are and how to connect with them.
Media options for marketing abound on the internet, but without a thorough analysis of your book, these tools are of little value. One key is to identify content that will pique interest rather than simply promote the book.

We will review potential platforms such as a website, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. Social media success is based on the long-term, not quick hits, so where should you invest your time? Learn to use research tools to discover meeting places for your potential readers, how to connect with them and how to prioritize the platforms that you use. A savvy marketing plan will include face-to-face events, book signings, and forums for personal appearances. How much time and money are you willing to invest in marketing your book? We will identify resources to help determine marketing priorities. Leave the workshop with a package of tools for analysis, a marketing strategy and the steps for implementation.

Half Day:          Conference Attendees $40
General Public $65

And for Homework… Historical Fiction for Children and Adolescents

A novel is like a house. Without a basic structure, it will fall apart. All too often when writing, we fail to see this, causing our stories to lose shape and focus as they develop. In this class we will discuss classic novel structure, applying what we learn to our own works.

Through a combination of writing exercises, group discussion and instructor feedback, we will discover the internal dynamics of our novels to see where they're headed and what they might lack. From unstable ground situations to inciting incidents to points of attack, we will learn what it takes to set a story in motion and to keep it going until it's resolved. Once we’re done, each student will have not only an overall structure for their novel, they will have the perfect elevator pitch, the essence of their story that they can share with potential publishers and agents.

*Participants can submit a short synopsis of their novel or novel idea with the instructor in advance of the workshop, and with the class as a whole the day we meet. These should be no more than approximately 350 words. Synopsis can be emailed to for advance review, or brought to class.

Half Day:          Conference Attendees $40
General Public $65

NOYE: Anyone registered for the full conference should log-in to receive the conference discount. 

If you are not attending the full conference, register for Master Classes here -  HWA Master Class Intensives