In this four-week crash course, we’ll discuss what makes a story a story, and what elevates a story to a page-turner. We will discuss story structure, character development, and the magical ingredients that lend a story that impossible-to-put-down feeling. In lieu of workshop, weekly exercises will help you apply what you're learning to your own projects. For example, you will write a scene based on detailed step-by-step guidance. Whether you’re interested in writing a novel, a memoir, short stories, or essays, this class will help you either get started or take your project to the next level.
Diana Spechler is the author of the novels Who By Fire and Skinny, of the New York Times column Going Off, and of a forthcoming nonfiction book based on that column. She has written for GQ, O The Oprah Magazine, Esquire, New York, Paris Review Daily, Tin House Open Bar, the Wall Street Journal, Glimmer Train Stories, Harper's, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of the Orlando Nonfiction Prize from A Room of Her Own Foundation, a Steinbeck Fellowship from San Jose State University, and other honors. Her website is www.dianaspechler.com.
"I've been so lucky to have Diana Spechler working on my writing for the last eight years. She is one of the very best editors I've ever had. I trust her implicitly with both careful line edits and big-picture assessments. She has a gift for asking extremely perceptive questions that always propel a piece to its next stage of development. She applies rigorous logic, too and has a particular eye for blind spots that others miss. In addition, she is wonderful and generous to work with. I give her my highest recommendation and with zero qualifiers."
"Diana Spechler's incisive comments and smart feedback have saved innumerable pieces of mine. She has helped me tease out narrative threads, make stock characters human, and figure out the very basic but all-important question of what is at stake. Her editorial guidance has helped me become a confident essayist--every time she's looked at one of my pieces, I've found new and better ways revise it based on her suggestions."
"Spechler’s candor about such difficult, personal battles is enormously commendable, not least in bringing a big audience to a still-controversial problem that large numbers of researchers, psychiatrists, and drug companies would still gladly ignore."
"Spechler is a talented writer who transcends melodrama and cliche with striking sensitivity and a delicate touch."