Mastering the Invisible Elements of Fiction with Jessica Morrell

Between the Lines: Mastering the Invisible Elements of Fiction
Taught by Jessica Morrell
Date: April 30
The Center for Contemplative Arts, Manzanita, Oregon
Time: 10-5                       
Cost: $75

Readers want to be haunted by stories, characters and specific scenes that linger in their memories. While reading they want to be transported to another time and place. The best fiction does this; touching the deep layers in us. A writer achieves this effect by embedding dozens of techniques into his story to create a deep and simmering story world.  Yet, since some elements in fiction are suggested or remain invisible they’re difficult to analyze. This workshop brings these fictional elements into the light to help you create your own nuanced, layered, and compelling stories.  We’ll combine discussion and exercises, and read three short stories during the workshop session, we’ll cover various vital techniques for creating fiction with depth and resonance. Generous handouts will be included. These techniques include:

  • How to structure scenes then layer them with mood and tone.
  • How to make decisions about narrative voice and distance.
  • How to choose the most appropriate viewpoint for the story.
  • How to make pacing decisions.
  • How tension and suspense contribute to every page and the part foreshadowing plays in achieving them.
  • The proportion of details needed to create a story world that breathes.
Jessica Morrell began teaching writers in 1991, creating workshops that are lively, focused and filled with sensible insights.  Workshop and writing conference participants have described her as: “a torrent of information,” “lots of practical information with excellent concrete examples” and, “Absolutely everything she says is packed with value.”  

She is the author of  Thanks, But This Isn’t for us, A (sort of) Compassionate Guide to Why Your Writing is Being Rejected; Bullies, Bastards and Bitches, How to Write the Bad Guys in Fiction; Between the Lines: the subtler aspects of writing fiction; The Writer’s I Ching, Voices from the Street, and Writing out the Storm. Morrell works as a developmental editor and hosts a web log at 

To reserve your place: Please send a check for $75 to Jessica Morrell, P.O. Box 820141, Portland, OR 97282-1141. A confirmation e-mail will be sent so please include email address and phone number.  
For more information: contact Jessica at or phone 503-287-2150

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