This course is designed for writers versed in techniques of fiction and well launched into a novel (and, for those interested in fictional techniques for nonfiction writing, memoir). The week offers inspiration as well as solutions to some of the problems that arise in the writing of a longer manuscript. Part of your first assignment is to summarize your writing project for the others in the class; then daily exercises ask you to apply specific tools of craft to your manuscript. This writing is shared in a workshop forum. Through the close study of published examples, we’ll further explore specific techniques of craft, including employing sense of place in point of view, crafting scenes, how to sustain plot and build character, methods to summarize as well as dramatize, and a look at dialogue pitfalls and helpful hints. Class discussion will include the subject of personal style as well as the application of these techniques to your particular manuscript. Come prepared to read and write daily; you will leave with an array of tools to improve your entire manuscript.
Sands Hall is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and holds a second M.F.A. in Theatre Arts. Her experience as director, actor, and playwright gives her a unique perspective on the writing process. She currently teaches creative writing at Franklin & Marshall College, and is the author of the novel Catching Heaven, a Random House Reader’s Circle selection; and a book of writing essays and exercises, Tools of the Writer’s Craft. Her short fiction has appeared in such journals as New England Review, The Iowa Review and Green Mountains Review. Her produced plays include an adaptation of Alcott’s Little Women and the comic/drama Fair Use. This is the twenty-fifth summer Sands has taught for the Festival.