As some of you found out last week, I’ve got some stuff in the hopper, some stuff comin’ up, and a new novella for your (hopefully) reading pleasure. Here, in case you missed that info.
I will also be attending the GCLS conference in Dallas this June. I’ll be on a panel and doing some chat stuff and all that good stuff. Oh, here’s the schedule, so you can see what’s up.
Yes, that’s me, there, teaching a master class. Not that I’m a “mas-tah” type, mind you. That’s just what these kinds of things are called. So I thought I’d provide a little bit o’ info for you, so you can see what this class is all about.
It’s called “Setting at the End of the World.” Uh-huh. One of those cryptic Andi things. Here’s the description:
Setting is part of the infrastructure of fiction narrative. Setting can determine plot arc, characterization, and subplots. The WHERE of a story is, in a sense, another character, because it can play into regional differences, the culture behind a character’s motivations and identity, and the parameters of actions that characters can take.
Authors can overlook it or don’t use its potential in their work. They take it for granted (easy to do, people. Don’t think I haven’t, either), and don’t observe the things that go on even in the every day places around them. Therefore, what I encourage authors to do — those who are just starting out and those who have been at it for a while — is to take an extreme scenario and use that as a backdrop to practice character sketches and plot outlines.
An extreme setting gets people out of their usual place, both literally and figuratively, and encourages them to pick its elements apart and apply those lessons to the settings with which they’re more comfortable.
So in this class, we’ll be working with a post-apocalyptic setting on Earth and explore how something like that can affect characters, their relationships with each other and the world around them, and the overall narrative structures and plot arcs of the fictional scenarios we come up with during the session. When we’re done, I hope to have demonstrated how important setting can be as an element in fiction, and ways to effectively integrate it into story-telling. I also hope to stimulate the powers of observation of those who participate, so that they take that with them back to their writing with which they can create deeper, richer layers for their narratives.
There you go. Sound groovy? Well, if you’re going to be at GCLS, hope you check it out.
Otherwise, happy writing, happy reading, happy Monday!