The Counter: Using Negative Space in Your Writing with Mark Dooley

Craft The Counter: Using Negative Space in Your Writing with Mark Dooley

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***Register by February 22 and save $5, use code COUNTERDOOLEY2021 at checkout!***
  1. Characters
  2. Description/Setting
  3. Structure
$5 off Early Registration Coupon-expires 1 week before class starts
We struggle to make our writing significant for readers. We often neglect to take make good use of the negative spaces in our writing. When we take advantage of negative spaces, we invite our readers to share in the worlds we’ve created. They collaborate by filling in their own images and emotions creating an integrated world from our stories. We’ll explore the omitted and obscure via visual metaphor, examples, and exercises to share among the attendees. Mark Dooley of Dancing with Words leads the session.
Lesson One
Technology check and meet your guide -
- Slides + Audio
- What this course is NOT about.
- What this course is about
- Defining negative space in visual art and calligraphy.
- What's a counter? What are they used for?

Exercise: Introduce yourselves -
- What's your work in progress?
- Tell us about your antagonist. Protagonist.
- What do you expect to get out of this class?

Lesson Two
Setting as negative space
- Undefined setting
- Under defined setting
- Over defined setting

Using setting to push characters around
- Setting can take the place of telling
- An example from history.
- Examples from published works

- What is your setting?
- How does it force your characters to move?

Lesson 3
What makes a writer crazy?
- The most common mistake WE all make in setting.
- So common we named it twice.
- Both names imply the problem is a mental illness.

Using action tags to link characters and setting
- What's an action tag?
- What's a useful action tag?
- Using inferiority to link POV character and setting

Students: Practice
- Post a dialog with action tags and inferiority.

Lesson 4
Black Holes
- What's a black hole?
- How characters talk about taboos.
- How does that draw readers in?
- Example

- Lure your reader into your lair...err...story.
- An example from history and my fine artistic skills
- Psychology study - Ignoring callers in the same room
- Example

- What's your WIP? (yes again)
- What's a question you expect your readers to ask?
- Did you answer it?
- Talk amongst yourselves.

Lesson 5
Dynamic Range
- Saggy Middle? Avoid it with highs and lows
- What should be invisible in your story
- Things that flatten your range: Backstory, Theme, and Expectations
- Example

Jargon Defeats Dynamism
- The problems of Jargon
- Example

Tell on yourself
- What's a mistake you made?
- How can your classmates avoid making a similar mistake?

Lesson 6
Perception is greater than Description
- Neutral, objective, descriptions of character are a lie
- Character worksheets?
- How our POV character's perceptions feed our story.
- Examples

Time as a negative space
- Alter the flow of time to show character changes
- Example
- Changes in time to illustrate changes in character
- Example

Lesson 7
Exiling your POV Character to Negative Space
- Triparte character
- When is it appropriate?
- Filtering
- Indirect Free Writing
Start date
Mar 1, 2021 at 9:00 AM
End date
Mar 28, 2021 at 12:00 AM
Registration end date
Mar 3, 2021 at 12:00 AM
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