I give writing talks on various topics and am available to present them to any size audience. I’m comfortable in a small crowd or a packed room. I’m a long-time speaker at the Gen Con Writer’s Symposium. I’ve also given talks at the League of Utah Writers Conference, the UW Madison Writers’ Institute, various libraries, including the Macmillan Memorial Library, and more.
I have six pre-made presentations in my Mastering Fiction series, from the structure of scenes to plotting and brainstorming techniques to using pattern recognition to enhance your fiction. The topics are ones that I felt were both crucial skills for the writer and underserved in the market.
They’re planned as 50 minutes each, with roughly 40 minutes of presentation and 10 minutes of question and answers, but I’m happy to present at different lengths, with adjustment to the topics if given enough lead time to prepare. Just let me know what changes you’d like to see and I’d be happy to work with you.
If interested, please contact me via my contact page to discuss terms and availability.
Mastering Fiction – Creating Compelling Stories by Setting & Breaking Expectations
The ability to recognize patterns is a basic human trait. We use it over and over in our fiction. This seminar discusses how to use patterns to your benefit by both setting and breaking expectations. Various techniques such as character building, plot progression, plot twists and setbacks, and world building will be discussed.
Mastering Fiction – Tension on Every Page
Tension is one of the basic building blocks of modern day fiction. If you know how to lay the seeds of tension, and how to coax them, you can transform your fiction from merely noteworthy to exceptional. In this seminar, the different types of tension are discussed, as well as ways to maximize them to keep your reader glued to the page.
Mastering Fiction – The Structure of Scenes
Well-structured scenes make for compelling storytelling. How can you construct powerful scenes? And how do you string scenes together to create a vivid and stirring piece of writing? In this seminar, you’ll learn how to structure scenes that work, whether you’re writing a short story or the next breakout novel.
Mastering Fiction – Plotting Techniques of the Professional Writer
Plotting is one of the more difficult disciplines to master in writing. Some writers have an innate sense of what makes a story work, but most writers, particularly those early in their apprenticeships, will benefit from plotting. This seminar focuses on various plotting techniques, from basic structural concepts, initial plotting and eventual refinement, how to break the dreaded writer’s block and how to avoid it in the first place.
Mastering Fiction – Vibrant Writing Through Connective Tissue
In writing, there are many different techniques that are rarely discussed together. Foreshadowing, parallel threads, theme, tone, character building, and more. In this seminar, these topics are discussed from the viewpoint of strengthening the story as a whole, taking a story that feels loose and directionless and working with the material that’s already there to make it strong and vibrant.
Mastering Fiction – Brainstorming Your Way to a Breakout Novel
Novels begin with an idea, and the bigger the idea, the more likely you are to attract the notice of agents, editors, and readers. In this seminar, learn techniques that can help you generate your Big Idea from the start, which will help to guide you to writing a novel that will stand out from the crowd.