Seductive Beginnings with Suzy Vitello

In this two-week intensive, you'll learn to identify your strengths as a writer—and how to capitalize on those strengths in pursuit of publishing success.

Your Instructor: Suzy Vitello (The Moment Before)

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: October 5, 2017 - October 19, 2017

Enrollment: 20 Students Maximum

Price: $250

Class Description

Want to know how to hook your reader?

To get the attention of an agent or editor?

Editors and agents are barraged by queries and openings. In order to get the attention of a literary gatekeeper, your work needs to muscle through the pack and get noticed.

Are you on the finishing draft of a project? Starting your novel anew? Maybe you’re just looking for some tools for a future project. Suzy Vitello can help.

In this two-week intensive class, Suzy Vitello—critique partner of writers like Chuck Palahniuk and Lidia Yuknavitch, den mother of Portland's hottest writing group, and author of The Moment Before—will help you find the fresh eyes your project needs.

Suzy will show you how to identify and capitalize on your strengths. She'll show you how to look at fiction with the discerning eye that lets you learn as you read. She'll help you push your writing in new and exciting directions.   

What This Class Covers

Lecture/Assignment One: Come Here Often?

The inaugural lecture/assignment will focus on your seductive strengths RIGHT NOW. As part of the kickoff, you will be invited to send your first three pages Suzy's way, and she'll give it to straight up, examining your pages like an agent/editor/reader would. You will be encouraged to go forth based on your particular strengths, and as for the weaknesses? Each week you’ll get a new tool for your belt.

Lecture/Assignment Two: Join the Mile High Club

The first paragraphs of a manuscript need to do more than “hook the reader.” They need to serve as the launch for the entire trip. As writers, we should have the same agenda: get enough speed and fuel to take off and soar for as long as it takes to reach the destination. Gordon Lish famously called this the “line of flight.” Find out what he means by it, and what tools you need to get your story off the ground.

Lecture/Assignment Three: Now That I’ve Got You Where I Want You

We know it when we read it, don’t we? A successful scene that sucks you in? Is it all smoke and mirrors? Yes. Yes, it is. Learn how to flex your narrative muscle by playing with distance, objects, voice and tone.

Lecture/Assignment Four: The Hookup

This week you'll dive into the mechanics of the all-important hook. You'll look at examples from the work of Suzy's high-powered, best-selling writing group and then experiment on our own work, in a granular, sentence-to-sentence way.

Lecture/Assignment Five: Does This Paragraph Make Me Look Fat?

You’ve written, revised, and revised again. Do your opening chapters work? Are they seductive enough? Now is the time to invite new eyes to opine. This week you’ll invite a virgin Beta reader to opine on your seduction and give them some specific things to consider to inform your next revision.

Lecture/Assignment Six: Pour Me a Double

Whether you want to attract the attention of an agent, a publisher, or your final readers, the game is the same. Get them to turn the page! You'll return to the initial “readout” in this final week, and look at the gains you’ve made, as well as recommendations for follow-up attention. You’ll get a personalized Rx from Suzy for the road to success!

Goals Of This Class

  • Find your strengths that exist RIGHT NOW
  • Get your work critiqued by Suzy Vitello
  • She'll show you how to look at fiction in a way that lets you learn as you read
  • Learn the secrets of what makes successful writing work
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