Rachel Howard

Finding Your Narrative Engine: The Three C's

Why do some memoir and novels take off from the first page, while others stall out before the end of chapter one? More importantly: How can you make sure the book you’re writing gets all the necessary gears lined up on those all-important first five pages?
In this trouble-shooting workshop, you’ll learn the three Cs of narrative engine: Character, Conflict, and Clock. What’s clock, you say? Glad you asked. It’s a simple but elusive element that’s crucial to your story’s drive—but many writers don’t realize their pages are missing it. Character and conflict are also more complex than they first appear. Drawing from the teachings of novelist David Haynes and Lisa Cron’s excellent book Wired for Story, this class will demystify the three Cs, then help you identify Character, Conflict, and Clock in your narrative.

RACHEL HOWARD is the author of The Lost Night, a memoir about her father’s unsolved murder, described as “enthralling” by the New York Times. Her forthcoming novel is titled Finalizing. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared in the New Yorker Online, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, ZYZZYVA, Gulf Coast, and other journals. She frequently teaches online courses for Stanford Continuing Studies, and has served as Joan Beebe Fellow and Interim Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing at Warren Wilson College, and as Distinguished Visiting Writer in the MFA program of St. Mary’s College of California. 


1:20-2:20 --  Breakout Session #2, Revision and Critique

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