Leading with Voice: How to Create Compelling First Person Narrators Who Drive Your Fiction with Vanessa Veselka

Learn to create compelling first-person narrators who drive your fiction and take it to a new level. 100% Online--Available Everywhere!

Your Instructor: Vanessa Veselka (author of Zazen)

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here

Enrollment: 16 Students Maximum

Price: $447

Class Description

Learn to create compelling first-person narrators who drive your fiction and take it to a new level

Where: Online-- Available everywhere!

Enrollment: 16 Student cap

Your Instructor: Vanessa Veselka (author of Zazen)

Craig Clevenger on Vanessa Veselka

"Two things Vanessa does brilliantly: First, she knows exactly when to bend the rules, which speaks to her mastery of them. Second, she has an uncanny ability to bypass the events of her life and instead create fiction from their essence. She doesn't write by suturing together the vaguely altered facts, but transforms them completely while still being faithful to the underlying truth." 

Class Description:

We have all read or written work where the author’s agenda seems to drive the narrative, and characters felt more like sock puppets than people we might meet. But this raises a question:  Where do we put all the intensity we feel about the world without ruining a work? One place we can ground passion and conflict is in narrative voice. Since many of us write, or start out writing first person narratives, this workshop will focus exclusively on voice and exploring the difference between your voice as an author, and the voice of your narrator. Over the course of the workshop we will work with what you bring and with exercises done over the life of the class. We will not be working toward a polished work so much as a deeper freedom with the medium.

Read our short interview with Vanessa Veselka about her class.

What you'll get includes:

  • Original and exclusive lecture content generated specifically for this course
  • The chance to study with the author of award-nominated novel Zazen
  • Instructor and peer critique within a supportive environment
  • Writing assignments designed to release the power of authentic character voice
  • Insightful commentary that directs you to new depths of character logic and exploration

What This Class Covers

Week 1: Who Is Telling The Story?

Is it the character? Or the author in drag? We will spend some time undressing the narrator.

Week 2: How Do We "Hear" A Voice On The Page?

We will spend some time on sentence-level cues and ‘types’ of voices…

Week 3: Secret Agendas

First person narrators and information delivery, or the difference between intrigue and just being annoying.

Week 4: The Limits of First Person Narration

Or, tone and sustainability in voice.

Week 5: Dialing It In

We will work toward finding the right mix on voice and talk about layers within one voice.

Goals Of This Class

  • Learn to “hear” your characters and operate with maximum respect for individual character voices.
  • Discover some secrets of how to use voice to create tension and control information.
  • Produce at least one 1500 - 2500 word passage of first person narration that is strong and intentional.
  • Achieve the skills to bring a high level of individual truth to your future projects driven on clear and compelling narrators & narrative voices.

How Our Classes Work:

This course happens in a dedicated online classroom space that's private to registered students and available to you around the clock, regardless of your time zone or work schedule.  The lectures, assignments, critiques, and classroom discussions take place in an organized and text-driven format that gives you a daily opportunity to practice your writing skills with the added reassurance that content remains available for your review long after the class is over.  We'll offer a couple of optional live phone conference opportunities as well, for enhanced support and personal connection, but we find the best results for students abide in writing classes where well over 90% of your interactions require an immersion in the very skills you're here to practice.

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