We started the day with a talk by Dr. Mac Tiu, who explained to us his techniques in writing his award-winning fiction. Mac admits he is a die-hard Aristotelian, so his stories take on the classical structure of "a single rising action with a single effect." Mac starts with the beginning and the end, or in other words, the problem and the solution; getting from one point to the other is the story.
Clearly that's a very basic tenet of storytelling, but something that many young writers forget. Everyone was in rapt attention. You just can't go wrong with a classic.
Mac divides his stories into "frames", or "scenes". Each frame moves the story forward, adding complications and driving up the action. Mac then showed us the differences between his drafts and final version for his short story "Black Pearl."
And for something new and different: we brought the workshop on the air! Farah, Greysh, and I hopped over to the radio booth next door during the snack break to do a quick spot for Blue Knight radio.
Farah read an excerpt from her short story "Purple Box", and Greysh read from her creative nonfiction piece "An Ode to My Left Ventricle." I wasn't wrong in my selection of Farah and Greysh because their voices were just fantastic and radio-perfect. At the end of each reading there was a pause as the DJs recovered from their stunned silence.