Research – The most fun part of writing

Whether you are travelling with a circus in India like John Irving, spelunking through a squeeze, getting behind the scenes at Washington DC’s Museum of Natural History, or interviewing a Starbucks barista or paramedic about their job – good research makes the difference between fiction that sings, and fiction that lies flat. Authentic details give the author authority. How do you determine what research you need to do for a piece? What is the back and forth between building your story and discovering as you write what you need to know? How do characters fully arrive on the page – finding the right details to walk in their shoes, see out their eyes, make them inhabit the narrative. How do you build research into story without interrupting narrative flow – how does it bring out your story on the deepest level? When does research become a way to avoid writing? All these questions and more will be explored and discussed. There will be two writing exercises, showing how good research can take your work to the next level. There may be a surprise quickie research about something in Iceland ahead of class.

Level: Accessible to beginners, but more for general or master class.

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