The Writing Barn: The Logic of Storytelling
February 20 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
How do you build a story that keeps readers engaged from start to finish? How do you create a character whose goals and motivations are so compelling that readers will follow her anywhere she goes? How do you give readers a conclusion that makes the journey worth it? In this workshop, we’ll consider these questions and more by breaking down the storytelling process into manageable pieces. We’ll tease apart successful published books to see the framework underneath, and discuss how that framework can be applied to your own works in progress.
In her ten years as an editor at Penguin Random House, Leila Sales found common threads throughout her manuscript feedback. Though the specifics varied with each book, the same issues arose again and again: we don’t understand the character’s goals or why it matters whether or not she achieves them; the middle of the book drags and lacks in direction; the resolution doesn’t feel earned. This workshop gives writers the tools to diagnose and fix these common problems in their own manuscripts—it gives you the questions an editor will ask and the answers an editor will suggest before you even go out on submission.
Who should attend:
—fiction and narrative nonfiction writers (children’s, young adult, adult)
—writers with a first draft that they’re looking to bring up to a submittable or publishable level
—writers who are outlining or conceptualizing a new project
—writers who feel that they’re getting lost in the middle of their stories, and want to gain more confidence and purpose in their narrative structure
Leila Sales (leilasales.com) is the author of six critically acclaimed middle grade and young adult novels, including THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE, which has been translated into a dozen languages. Leila has spent the past eleven years at Penguin Random House, where she edited bestselling and award-winning fiction and nonfiction for children and teens, including books by Viola Davis, Gayle Forman, Max Brallier, Sally Green, Greg Pizzoli, and more. She is now based in Austin, where she runs the Book Engineer (thebookengineer.com), a book development agency. Follow her @LeilaSalesBooks.