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Finding Your Story’s Sweet Spot: What Does Your Character Want?

January 16, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on January 23, 2019 at 6:30pm

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One event on March 6, 2019 at 6:30pm

Instructor: BettyJoyce Nash
$189 Members | $210 Nonmembers
Wednesdays, 1/16/19 – 3/6/19 | 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Finding your story’s “sweet spot” requires identifying your character’s longing. What drives every word and deed, creating the necessary conflict that motivates readers to turn pages? In early drafts we often can’t answer the simple question: What specific, tangible “want” makes this character act this way?

In class, we’ll discuss published short stories such as Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Interpreter of Maladies” and Ethan Canin’s “The Pitch,” among others, to discover how these and other master writers develop character and story through objects and metaphors, dialogue and action. We’ll investigate the specific details these authors chose to develop and how those details support the story.

Best of all, we’ll generate new material, through prompts and exercises, that we can workshop into polished drafts or mine for future stories. Together, we’ll read, write, and discuss.

About the Instructor: BettyJoyce Nash is a journalist and fiction writer with an MS in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill Journalism School (1988) and an MFA in fiction from Queens University (2011). Her journalism has appeared in newspapers and magazines in North Carolina and Virginia; her fiction has been published in North Dakota Quarterly, Broad River Review, and C-Ville Weekly. As part of her research for her story, “Laser Vision,” she qualified for a concealed carry permit in 2011. In 2015, she won the F. Scott Fitzgerald contest. Her fiction has been recognized with fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among other artists’ colonies.

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January 16, 2019
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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BettyJoyce Nash


508 Dale Avenue
Charlottesville, 22902 United States
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