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An update from our sixty-eighth Writing Workshop with Conner Bassett

A summary of the workshop held on Saturday, May 27

In the last workshop of our spring season, Conner outlines six ways a scene can fail. Number one: it starts too early. It's better to start late, to skip greetings, and to start when the events actually become important to the reader. Number two: it ends too late. It’s better to end the scene before there is a conclusion and to end on an emotional note. Number three: it has “a predictable present story.” In other words, the scene has a setting that has often been used before and has a character that fits into the setting rather than stands out in it. An example Conner gave was “a soldier on a battlefield.” Number four: it employs "narcissistic central intelligence." This is when a writer humiliates or belittles a character to make some kind of statement. Characters should be treated as human beings, not props. Number five: it doesn’t have an arc. The scene should have some kind of structure. Number six: its ending is an answer. It is better to ask another question rather than offer the answer to a previous one.

The Challenge: Write a scene.

The Participants: Emma, Seva, Anushka, Yueling, Stella, Samarina, Liesl, Philip, Aaron

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