August OWL | Treat Backstory Like a Pungent Spice with Sandy Vaile

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Sprinkle and blend the flavours of your character to achieve an irresistible aroma.

Do you feel that your stories are lacklustre? Have you been accused of too much telling? Does your character have a fascinating history, but you’re not sure how best to convey it? Back story delivery could be your problem. Learn how much to use and when to reveal it for the best effect.

This course best suits modern fiction writers with a developed character and story idea, so Sandy can tailor feedback.

During this workshop:
· learn how to determine which parts of your backstory is important, and which is just filler.
· unravel the mystery of knowing when to release the backstory for maximum effect.
· discuss the all important concept of how much backstory is right and when does it become an information dump.
· practice various literary devices for revealing backstory.
· explore the quicksand of letting backstory take over the whole story.

Lessons will be uploaded on Tuesdays and Fridays.
· On Tuesdays there will be a shorter lesson with an exercise for participants to work through on their own, and ask questions if they have any.
· On Fridays there will be a longer lesson, with homework.

Sandy will provide feedback at any stage during the workshop, on any of the topics.
On two of the Tuesday nights she will offer an informal 1-hour online chat session, where participants can ask questions, share tips and network.

Commitment: The workshop is structured so people can put as little or as much effort into it as they wish, and participate as much or as little as they wish. The average weekly time commitment to participate in all facets would be ~3 hours.

About the Presenter:

Sandy Vaile is a motorbike-riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there’s a courageous heroine and a dead body. She writes romantic-suspense with attitude, and is published by Crimson Romance.

When she’s not writing fiction, Sandy composes procedures for high-risk industrial processes, judges competitions for Romance Writers of Australia and Romance Writers of America, and runs the Novelist’s Circle critiquing group. She lives amongst the South Australian vineyards and was a chef in a past life, hence the food analogies.Connect with Sandy at:

Course Dates: 7 August – 3 September, 2017
Cost: RWA Member—$30. Non-RWA Member—$80.


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