We've all picked up books we wanted to love but just couldn't get into. What went wrong? Chances are the character development didn't match the ambitions of the plot. The most memorable stories are those where the relationship between character and plot appear seamless; the sequence of events seem inevitable because the characters could only have behaved in that way, resulting in those consequences. We will think deeply about our characters—what moves them? What are their deepest desires, fears, ambitions, secrets? We will see how they react in difficult circumstances, at moments of clarity and conflict that define their stories. We will analyze how other writers have crafted characters and plot situations for greatest impact.
This fiction workshop is ideal for writers with some workshop experience, who are interested in giving and receiving feedback on their work as well as diving deeply into matters of craft.
Each student will workshop twice and meet once with the instructor for an individual conference following their in-class critiques.
-intensive peer and instructor feedback on two fiction submissions
-one productive, personal conference with the instructor to discuss your writing style, goals, and areas for improvement
-access to a nurturing community of writers and readers
-an arsenal of story-telling tools to help you work through narrative obstacles
-greater familiarity with contemporary literature
-a thorough understanding of how character influences plot, and how to put those lessons to work in your own fiction
-more confidence as a writer, on and off the page!
“Historic in scope and yet eerily contemporary, EVERYTHING BELONGS TO US is a stirring debut that immerses readers in a society where some quietly hope for change and others must demand it. In Yoojin Grace Wuertz’s capable hands, characters come alive with desire for a different kind of life, and heartbreak is the price of longing."
"What a story! Everything belongs to this terrific debut: love, family, friendship, and politics. I especially loved the two strong-willed and passionate heroines. Their ideals, choices, and struggles make this an utterly rapturous literary page turner."
"If South Korea transformed in a generation, this is the generation that transformed it: rich and poor, reckless and disciplined, loyal and faithless. Yoojin Grace Wuertz's fierce and unforgettable characters embody every contradiction as they do everything they can to ensure their own, and their nation's, survival. In EVERYTHING BELONGS TO US Wuertz has given us a MIDDLEMARCH for modern South Korea. She's woven the whole social tapestry, and made us care about every last thread."
"Grace is one of the first people I turn to for feedback. Whenever I finish a draft, I send it off to her and wait in anticipation for her unfailingly insightful response. What Grace does best is try to figure out your goals, what you're trying to accomplish with the piece, and tailor her suggestions toward that. I can't recommend a more thoughtful, attentive reader."
"Grace Wuertz has become, over the years, my go-to reader. She's not only got the writing chops (I mean, her novel is ah-may-zing) but she is the best kind of reviewer: kind, while still tough and critical, but empathetic. She can take a step back and see what you are trying to accomplish in your piece, yet can still, somehow, obsessively reveal the tiniest missing pieces and point out problems that you, of course, have overlooked because you have read the damn thing too many times and can no longer see it clearly without Visine and a double espresso. She's forbidden me from taking one of her workshops, but she is so good, I may just sign up under a nom de guerre. "