Saturday, November 7
12:00 to 3:00 p.m.
West Conference Room
Portland Art Museum
taught by Sara Jaffe
Limited to 9 students
Practice writing characters that don’t know as much about themselves as the writers know about them. In plot-driven fiction, it can be tempting to have our characters undergo significant events that result in a sweeping, sudden flash of self-knowledge. But does such an abrupt turn truly mirror the grain of experience, which typically works more incrementally? Participants will explore how a character’s lack of self-knowledge can provide productive tension in a narrative, and how language and form, as much as plot, might help us to maintain that tension. Limited to 9 students. The title of this workshop is taken from an essay of the same name by Charles Baxter.
Sara Jaffe is a fiction writer and the author of Dryland (Tin House). Her short fiction and criticism have appeared in publications including Fence, BOMB, NOON, Paul Revere’s Horse, matchbook, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She coedited The Art of Touring, an anthology of writing and visual art by musicians drawing on her experience as guitarist for post-punk band Erase Errata.
Contact Susan Denning, Director of Programs & Events, for more information.