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.

Jan 16 — Maintaining Tension in Your Fiction — This month we will discuss Maintaining Tension in Your Fiction – Readers expect a page-turning story that will keep them racing to get to the end. To keep them interested, you have to amp up the tension in your story, and keep readers uncertain about the outcomes. Join our discussion to consider: How can you use multiple sources of tension to keep things interesting? How does tension relate to suspense? How do you wrap up plot threads in your story without losing the tension?
Facebook Event Page for January

Feb 20 — Finding Your Voice – This month we will discuss Finding Your Voice — Publishing professionals often say they’re looking for unique or standout voices. Your literary voice is your approach to writing, and every thing that makes your narrators distinctly themselves. It can take time to define your voice, but once you do, readers will be able to tell when they’re reading another piece of your work. Join the discussion to consider: What elements make up a voice? How can you work to develop your voice? What’s the difference between a voice and a gimmick?
Facebook Event Page for February

Mar 20 — Imbuing Your Work With Meaning—This month we will discuss Imbuing Your Work With Meaning. We all have books that have stuck with us over the years, maybe even changed the way we thought about human nature. Story ideas are a dime a dozen, but books that sell have something deeper: a sense of meaning that makes having read then fell worth it. Join the discussion to consider: What is theme? How can you share meaning without becoming didactic? How does meaning relate to character psychology?
Facebook Event Page for March

Apr 17 — History in Fiction – This month we will discuss History in Fiction. From historical fiction to alternate history, historical elements come into play in many novels. However you’re using history, readers are going to expect you to get the details right. Join the discussion to consider: How can you approach researching different aspects of history? Does story ever trump accuracy? How can you write dialogue that sounds authentic to historical characters?
Facebook Event Page for April

May15 — Getting to Know Your Hero – This month we will discuss Getting to Know Your Hero. If you want readers to care about your story, you need us to care about your protagonist. How well do you know the person you’ve put in charge of your story? If you find the character uninteresting or “cardboard,” or worse inconsistent, then probably not well enough. Join the discussion to consider: how do you develop and weave in backstory? How do you uncover your character’s secrets and obsessions. How do you create a consistent psychology for the character?
Facebook Event Page for May

June 19 — Effective Action Scenes.
Action scenes done well are almost as hard as comedy. Where and how do you add action to your story?
Facebook Event Page for June

July 17 — Using Internal Monologue
The internal monologue is a tool that can either bring insight into a scene or drive your audience away. Using it correctly can be a challenge.
Facebook Event Page for July

August 21 — Plot Twists
Plot twists are the unexpected surprise that can keep a reader interested in your story. Learn how to introduce them effectively, properly foreshadow them, and include them at key points in your manuscript.
Facebook Event Page for August

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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