That our stories are necessarily situated somewhere is obvious. But what if we elevate place to the status of a character, a driving force in our writing? Remember, a character is not only shaped by the people who brought them up, but from the place that raised them. What if site can be more than a pin drop, rising to the level of protagonist or antagonist? We will work on writing scene, but in a way that place imbues our writing, makes the "where" of the story much more than a location. We'll also look at the challenges that arise from writing these places into our story, such as interrupting the narrative, avoiding cliché, memory, and writing unfamiliar locales. We'll also work on how to describe scenes succinctly by honing in on the things that make the place like no other. In this workshop, we'll work on existing projects, generate new writing, and look at examples of place in the writing of others.
This class is for prose writers with ongoing projects (fiction and nonfiction). There will be some readings sent out electronically prior to each class. We'll write to prompts in each class, and there will be gentle, optional homework assignments.
Registration required. Register here.
Linda Michel-Cassidy's writing can be found in Catamaran, No Tokens, The Rumpus, Harpur Palate and others. Always experimenting, she writes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and literary criticism. She teaches for the Vermont State Youth Writer's Program at Bennington, The Taos Summer Writer's Conference, and is a contributing editor at Entropy Magazine. Michel-Cassidy conducts interviews for the Mill Valley Library's Eight Books That Made Me podcast. She was recently a resident at Gullkistan at Laugarvatn, Iceland. Michel-Cassidy has an MFA in creative writing from Bennington, and another for visual arts from the California College of the Arts, as well as an editor's certification from UC Berkeley.