Magical Realism with Francesca Lia Block

Learn how to make the magical feel real and the real feel magical in this 4-week workshop led by Weetzie Bat author Francesca Lia Block.

Your Instructor: Francesca Lia Block (author of Dangerous Angels)

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

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

Enrollment: 16

Price: $350

Class Description

Building a world where the magical and the mundane blend together seamlessly takes a little magic of its own. Let the fairy godmother of magical realism show you the way to those precious enchanted pages. 

In this four-week course and workshop, celebrated author Francesca Lia Block will teach you how to craft a magical realist short story, or plan a novel in the genre, by creating a memorable character with magical gifts and an arc that both dictate structure and demonstrate theme; and by using language that makes the magical world real and the real world magical.

In this course, you will study how to create a character with magical gifts and an arc that both dictate structure and demonstrate theme.  You will also study way to make the magical elements of your story and world feel real and the realistic elements feel magical.

Each week includes a lecture, a writing assignment, to be critiqued by Francesca and your peers, as well as ample opportunity for discussion.

Francesca is the author of over twenty-five acclaimed and award-winning works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, including the memoir/writing guide The Thorn Necklace: Healing Through Writing and the Creative Process and the cult classic Dangerous Angels: Weetzie Bat Books.


What This Class Covers

Week 1 – Character

For the first week we will discuss the gifts of your magical protagonist, using examples from the reading list.

Week 2 – Structure and Theme

We will create a story structure for your work based on character arc and theme.

Week 3 – Setting and Language

The best magical realism makes the magical world feel real and the real world feel magical. We will explore ways to do this through figurative language, personification, sensory language and concrete detail.

Week 4 – Putting It All Together

Here you will write the first chapter of your novel and an outline or a short story based on what we have learned.

Each week will include an assignment with feedback from your instructor and peers, and ample opportunities for discussion.

Suggested Reading:

Allende, Isabel. The House of the Spirits.
Awad, Mona. Bunny.
Butler, Octavia. Fledgling. 
Erdrich, Louise. Love Medicine.
Morrison, Toni. Beloved.

Goals Of This Class

In this class, students will learn:

  • How to create a character with magical gifts and room to grow on an arc.
  • How to create structure through character arc and theme.
  • How to create language that makes the magical real and the real magical.
  • How to create a setting that feels both magical and real.
  • How to put everything together into a short story or the opening and outline of a novel.
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