Navigating Narrative Time, with Dori Ostermiller

As a fiction or narrative non-fiction writer, you can and must manipulate time by compressing and expanding it to fit the needs of your story.  Writers do not show every moment of a plot, every instance in a character’s life, but instead summarize or skip over big sections of time that are less relevant, while drawing out and emphasizing the moments which matter to the story.   In this morning craft intensive, we’ll cover some essential techniques for mastering narrative time, including how to create deeply experiential ‘real-time’ scenes, integrate lively backstory while maintaining narrative flow, flash backward and forward in time without losing the thread, and build effective transitions for holding it all together.   We’ll examine successful examples from published works, do some exercises and in-class writing, and share constructive feedback on participant work. Appropriate for all levels and genres of narrative – either fiction or nonfiction!

Sat, February 29, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ($75)

Dori Ostermiller, MFA, is the founding director of Writers in Progress.  Her debut novel, Outside the Ordinary World (MIRA, 2010) was an Indie Best pick and an MLA must-read.  Her work has appeared in many literary journals, including The Bellingham Review, Alligator Juniper, Bellowing Ark, Peregrine, Calliope, Roanoke Review, Chautauqua Literary Journal, The American, The Massachusetts Review and Rumpus, among others. Dori has worked for over two decades as a professional editor, and has taught literature and writing at many area colleges and universities. She is the recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist’s Fellowship and a Tobias Wolf Fiction award, among others.

Dori Ostermiller