In crafting compelling and relevant fiction, violence and trauma (emotional, physical, psychological) play a substantial role in our work. But how do we know when and how much of this material is necessary? In exploring these concepts, we'll tackle questions like: When should we require our audience to look, and when should we allow (or impel) them to look away? What must we do craft-wise to ensure our work doesn't become gratuitous or voyeuristic? How do we strike a balance between what feels naturally more dramatic with pieces of more subtle plot and character development? And how can we best deliver sensitive material so it has the maximum emotional impact?
This six-week online workshop will explore these questions alongside general craft concerns, and will feature real-time online group discussion supplemented with reading materials. Each writer will workshop twice, and will meet once with the instructor over GChat or Skype for an individual conference.
"Sara Nović isn’t here to play games. Her debut novel, GIRL AT WAR, serves as the announcement of an audacious talent. Great war stories are engaging and rough and honest, and Nović’s book is certainly all three. But it’s the fact that all this war is happening to a child that makes this book singular and special. You’ll hold tight to this book as if you were going to protect the young girl at its center—but come to find out, she’s the one with all the courage and all the strength."
"GIRL AT WAR is a harrowing, unforgettable novel. From the devastation of the Yugoslavian civil war, Sara Nović has wrought a deeply moving and necessary story of exile, family, and memory; a prayer over the unquiet graves of public and private trauma. Nović’s prose is so assured and wise that you’ll think this must be her tenth book rather than her first one, but indeed this is a debut—a major, unmissable debut."
"An unforgettable portrait of how war forever changes the life of the individual, GIRL AT WAR is a remarkable debut by a writer working with deep reserves of talent, heart, and mind."
"Intimate, crushingly brutal, and beautiful at once, GIRL AT WAR is the work of someone far more mature than her years. It constitutes signal proof that even great history is insufficient to tell the story of the twentieth century in Europe: Great fiction like this book is required, too."
"A breathtaking debut. With piercing clarity and devastating wit, Nović traces the enduring fallout of a childhood interrupted by conflict. GIRL AT WAR is an unforgettable, deeply affecting meditation on identity and memory, loss and survival, and what it means to feel at home in the world."