Saturday Night Write

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.

Sept 18 – Perfectly Pacing Your Fiction – This month, Special Guest Discussion Leader Jonathan Brown will take us through Perfectly Pacing Your Fiction. Jonathan is a musician, and the author of the Lou Crasher Mysteries, which are known for their breakneck pace.

Join the discussion to consider: How can you keep up a frenetic pace without losing character or overwhelming the story? Is there ever a time when you want to intentionally slow the pacing of a story down? What do you do if your story is too long or too short?

Oct 16 – Adding Detail to Your Story – This month, Special Guest Discussion Leaders Sara Peterson and Katanna Zachry will take us through how research on specific topics can help authors add more details to their stories, regardless if whether their work is fiction or non-fiction. Accurate historical details can affect the setting, characters, and plots of every story.

Today, authors are fortunate to be able to research in person or via the internet. Examples of research methods that the two authors used themselves as they wrote THE LONE STAR SPEAKS will be used to answer the following questions: What kinds of documents can be used to support actual events or to add authenticity to non-fictional and fictional stories? Where can authors find copies of these historical documents? What can authors learn from personal interviews with individuals of various ages? How can visits to specific locales enhance descriptive writing? How can research affect the plot, setting, characters, and even the theme of a piece of writing?

Nov 20 – Build a Better Monster – IMPORTANT: This meeting will not be held at our regular meeting time. Our guest speaker will be presenting from Bulgaria, and out of respect for the time difference, we will meet early.

This month, Special Guest Discussion Leader Dan Benson will help us consider Build a Better Monster —

Not all monsters are created equal. The best ones don’t look like they were created at all, but evolved like real animals. We’ll talk about the ecology, bio-mechanics, and phylogeny of creature-creation, and pay homage to nature by imitating it.

Dec 18 – How to Tighten Up a Story – This month we will discuss How to Tighten Up a Story. Readers want there to be enough to a story to keep them reading — but sometimes narratives meander with too little plot, or try to shove too much plot into the amount of pages allotted. (Ex. — the short story that feels like it should be a novel, the novel that could easily be a trilogy.) How do you determine how much plot to include in a story? How do you decide which plot events are important?

January 15 – Writing Like Cats & Dogs: How to Include Believable Animals – This month, Special Guest Discussion Leader Amy Shojai will take us through Writing Like Cats & Dogs: How to Include Believable Animal Characters in Fiction.

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Previous Topics:


May 20: Effectively Handling Narration

June 17: How to be a Better Self-Editor — With special guest Blake Atwood, local chapter leader of the Dallas Nonfiction Association

July 15: Making a Competent Character Weak

August 19: Truth and Lies in your fiction

September 16: Going Meta

October 21: Planning a Series

November 18: Scene and Sequel

December 16: Introducing Information Without Infodumping


January 20: Making Your Character Arc

February 17: Promises, Promises

March 17: Writing as Letting Go

April 21: Outlining Strategies

May 19: New Takes on Old Ideas

June 16: Creativity Exercises

July 21: The Steps to Romance with Special Guest Speaker Amanda Arista

August 18: Writing Despite Distratcions with Special Guest Speaker Trakina Prevost

September 15: How NOT to Write Dialogue

October 20: High Stakes Plotting

November 17: Focus on Secondary Characters

December 15: Metaphorically Speaking . . . with Special Guest Amber Helt


January 19: Organizing Your Writing Practice with special guest Storm Huyen

February 16: Aliens and Anthropomorphic Characters

March 16: The Benefits of Hands-On Research with Special Guest Bud Humble

April 20: Archetype vs Cliche

May 18: Designing a Mystery Plot / Subplot

June 15: Seeding in Literary Devices to Make Your Story Feel Complete

July 20: Sticking the Landing: Creating a Strong Resolution

August 17: What to Leave in and What to Leave Out with Special Guest Terry Detrich

September 21: Nonstandard Words With Special Guest Peter Keenan

October 19: Tension and Conflict

November 16: Story Vs. Situation

December 21: No Meeting


January 18: Villain, Antagonist, Obstacle

February 15: Filling in the Cast: Secondary Characters

April 18: Making Your Worldbuilding Seamless

May 16: Poetic Language Techniques for Fiction Writers

June 20: New Takes on Old Ideas

July 18: Avoiding Infodumps (While Keeping Readers from Getting Confused)

August 15: Writing the Difficult Bits (The PartsYou Find Emotionally Difficult or Have a Hard Time Approaching

September 19 – Generating Exciting Plot Elements

October 17 – Getting in Touch with Your Characters’ Emotions

November 21 – Managing Point of View

December 19 – Using Foreign and Created Language in Stories


January 16 — Maintaining Tension in Your Fiction

February 20 — Finding Your Voice

March 20 — Imbuing Your Work With Meaning

April 17 — History in Fiction

May15 — Getting to Know Your Hero

June 19 — Effective Action Scenes.

July 17 — Using Internal Monologue

August 21 — Plot Twists