Saturday Night Write meets on the third Saturday of each month to provide instruction and encouragement to writers in the community surrounding UT Arlington (and anyone else who wants to drive out to meet up with us). Our discussion leader presents a structured topic and background research to spark interactive participation, focusing on various aspects of craft. Everyone is welcome to join us for these FREE events.
Time: 4-6 PM
Location: Saturday Night Write will be meeting virtually until further notice. I hope you all look at this as an opportunity to explore ways to bring more people to our group and enrich our experience. You will notice that the topics have changed from what was originally on the web site. I think we all need to reconnect with the joy of writing, and the ways we can use words to escape the everyday, so I’m listing some of my favorite topics for that for April and May.
September 17 – Understanding Catharsis in Fiction Writing — This month we will discuss catharsis, and how it connects readers to your work. What makes one work memorable, and another work with similar setting and themes forgettable? Part of the answer lies in whether or not the reader/viewer reaches catharsis. Catharsis is what happens when a book gives you all the feels. It’s easy to know when you experience catharsis, but how can you intentionally write to help a reader connect on that level?
Join the discussion to consider: How does character attachment relate to catharsis? How do you design plot elements to build towards catharsis? How does the complexity off the story relate to catharsis
October 15 – These are the Jokes: Including Humor in Fiction — This month we will discuss how to include humor in your fiction. This covers a wide range of approaches, from subtle comic relief in a heartbreakingly serious work to over-the-top gags in a comedy. You need jokes that will land with your target audience, and an understand of pacing (the written equivalent of comic timing). And you need to place the jokes in the right spot in scenes to not interfere with the flow.
Join the discussion to consider: How does context relate to humor? How do you set up a punchline? How can you effectively use running gags?
November 19 – Picking the Most Effective Setting For Your Story — Every story is set somewhere. The best stories give a real sense of place, weaving the plot into the setting, so that it feels like this story HAD to take place in the specific setting. Of course, there may be more than one suitable setting for your story, as evidenced by retellings that place classic stories in a different time/place. So how can you “audition” settings to find the one that will be the most compelling for readers of your specific tale?
Join the discussion to consider: What changes if you move your story to a given time/place? How do you include enough detail to make the setting feel real, without slowing the pacing or overwhelming the reader? How do you write a place you’ve never been to, or one that you are inventing from scratch?
December 17 – Crafting the First Paragraph — Readers have so many options right now that if you don’t draw them in very quickly, they may just move onto something else. If you want to focus on a strong beginning, you need an engaging opening paragraph and an intriguing first line. But there are so many possible approaches to introduce readers to your characters in world. How do you know which one is the most effective for your story?
Join the discussion to consider: How can you imply a question in your opening? How can you connect readers to your characters in your opening? How can you establish a narrator’s voice and the character’s voice in your opening?