“The writerly advice to ‘show, don’t tell’ is easier said than done,” says instructor Erin Van Rheenen. “‘Showing’ means crafting compelling scenes where characters say and do things in the real time of the story. The truth is, it can be hard to write a scene. My students often struggle with dialogue or pacing. Or they’re not sure how to make a conflict unfold within a specific setting.”
In this 5-week online course, we’ll draft, polish, and discuss effective scenes, paying special attention to dialogue, character, conflict, setting, and sensory detail. We’ll look at how published writers create scene, how they combine scene and narrative summary, and how we can learn from (and effectively stray from) their example.
In an energized online environment, we’ll write, read, discuss, and share, both in the larger group and in breakout rooms of 2 to 3 people. Students will be encouraged to share their drafts. Together we’ll create a place where we can take risks and have fun.
About The Writing Salon's Remote Classes
Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, The Writing Salon is running all classes in a remote learning format. You will be able to participate in live class meetings via Zoom videoconference. To attend classes, you'll need a phone, tablet or computer and access to the internet. You can participate in the class from wherever you'd like, whether on your living room couch or in your office. Before your class meets, you'll receive an email from The Writing Salon with more information about Zoom and your remote class. If you have any questions about remote learning, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erin Van Rheenen has written about the power of place for Atlas Obscura, the Los Angeles Times, Southwest, The Sun, and NPR. For more than two decades she has also taught students at every level, in colleges, high schools, libraries, and at the San Francisco Women’s Jail. She earned an MA in Creative Writing and American Literature from City University of New York. Erin has spent many years living abroad, and is the author of the best-selling guide, Living Abroad in Costa Rica, now in its fifth edition. She now lives in San Francisco.
- Live Zoom Meeting: Wednesday, August 11, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Wednesday, August 18, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Wednesday, August 25, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Wednesday, September 01, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Wednesday, September 08, 6:30pm-9:00pm