Feb. 23-March 23 (5 weeks) 10:30 am-1 pm
$215 members/$245 others Berkeley
Testimonials for Jess
Whether you’re intrigued by Norse settlements, your own grandmother’s journey to America, or an imaginary character from a far-away time, historical fiction can be an enchanting new outlet for your writing, transporting you and your writing into worlds that are incredibly fun to create.
“You can’t just throw a tapestry over the flat screen TV in your scene and call it historical,” says instructor Jess Wells. “There are real differences between modern life and life in the past, which require real differences in your writing. That challenge, to me, is the greatest thing about this genre: it’s like a three-dimensional chess game – the bottom layer is the character’s story, the middle layer is the unique historical setting and events, and the top layer is the language.
“Each week we’ll discuss an aspect of the craft of historical fiction, investigate research opportunities, and examine a different section of one of the greats of historical fiction: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind. I’ll give you take-home writing exercises to help you brainstorm and move your work along. I’ll also set aside time at the end of each class to look at your specific projects, in terms of plot development, character development, or research requirements.
“My goal is to help you identify an era and an area that speak to you. Maybe you’d like to reintroduce a little-known hero or heroine into popular culture. Or tell the sweeping saga of your own family’s struggle in America. And since any story more than 50 years old is considered historical fiction, you might even be able to use your own childhood as a source of your inspiration. The possibilities are endless!”
Jess Wells is thrilled to announce the signing of her new novel, A Slender Tether, to Fireship Press. It’s her fourth novel and second work of historical fiction. Jess is also the author of five books of short stories and the recipient of the San Francisco Arts Commission Grant for Literature in 2008. Her previous work, The Mandrake Broom, is available from Amazon. She blogs at RedRoom.com and at jesswells.com, and teaches “How to Write Historical Fiction,” “Theme Plot and Characterization,” “Fundamentals of the Short Story,” and “How to Write with a Full-Time Job: Time Management for Writers,” at The Writing Salon and other venues around the country.