Building Fictional Worlds, with Susanne Dunlap

Do you want to take readers into space on a 51st-century spacecraft? Or would you prefer to ferry them to a magical world where the veil between reality and imagination is permeable? Perhaps you long to set a story among the ancient Greeks, or in Hollywood in the 1920s. Or you have a burning desire to populate today’s world with magical creatures whose powers only your imagination can limit. Whether your chosen genre is fantasy, historical, science fiction, or speculative fiction, there’s nothing more satisfying than writing a story set in an unfamiliar world. It’s the ultimate way to transport readers out of their everyday lives.

This 6-week workshop is tailored for writers who want to explore settings outside the ordinary, known world. Each week, we’ll highlight a craft topic related to world-building, including: the role of research, mapping your world, when/how to use unfamiliar languages, establishing or researching the rules of your world, and keeping your characters believable within the parameters you or history has set for your story. You’ll have ample time to write and practice the craft we’ve discussed at the start of each session. Ideal for writers at all stages and levels. The only requirement is a sense of adventure and a wildly active imagination!

6 Tuesdays, 6 – 9 pm, Starting April 7 ($240)

Susanne Dunlap is the author of nine historical novels for adults and teens. Her young adult novel The Musician’s Daughter was a Junior Library Guild selection and a Bankstreet Children’s Book of the Year, and it was nominated for the Missouri Gateway Readers Prize and the Utah Book AwardHer latest novel, Listen to the Wind and The Spirit of Fire are the first volumes of a medieval trilogy for adults, The Orphans of Tolosa. Listen to the Wind is a semi-finalist for the Chaucer Awards for Pre-1750 Historical Fiction and a Distinguished Favorite in the NYC Big Book Awards. Susanne has a PhD in music history from Yale University.

Susanne Dunlap