So, I have committed my weekend (well most of it – thanks to the holiday) to a Short Story Intensive workshop being hosted by Mary Robinette Kowal.

I am stoked to have landed a spot in this class, and excited to be working with Mary again. I’ve had the pleasure of Mary’s company and wisdom at the Writing the Other Workshop/Retreat (yes, I will eventually get around to the post), and also the Out of Excuses 2013 Workshop/retreat.

Also, I am looking forward to learning more and honing the craft of short story writing. My natural tendency in writing is to go long. And even my short stories grow to giants with the attention I give them. It is hard for me to produce a well-crafted, doesn’t feel like it’s a small part of something bigger short story.

And yet – I am a little nervous about this weekend. The schedule, as the name of the workshop implies, is intense. And we were given a  pre-class assignment last night, to describe the room we were in, in third person, with us in the room. I have discovered that my style tends towards character focus, and not towards describing the actual scenery, rather how the character feels about items, or her relation to them as she goes about doing things. So I feel a bit so-so on the assignment, but in the very least, I am already learning.

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  • 7pm-9pm Introduction, discussion of POV using specificity, and focus. Exercise 1: Context


  • 8am Post assignment.
  • 11am-12pm Critique of homework. Second POV assignment
  • 1:30pm Post assignment/meal break
  • 3pm-5pm Discuss nature of dialog, use of rhythms to distinguish character. In class exercise, followed by homework.
  • 6:30pm Post assignment/meal break
  • 8pm-10pm Plot structure.  Plot homework


  • 9am-11pm Discuss plot exercise, unpacking, and outlining for short fiction. Outline homework 
  • Noon Post homework/meal break
  • 2pm-4pm Discuss outlines. Recap of plot structure. Final exercise.
  • 4pm-5:30pm Write a story in ninety minutes.
  • 5:30pm Post story/meal break
  • 7pm-10pm Critique of stories/recap


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August 2014