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Tell Me a Story: Must Have Plot! (Session 1 of 6)

December 4, 2021 at 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm EST

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In this six-month Interintellect Salon series, writer and editor Julie Mosow shares everything she knows about writing a book length manuscript, becoming the writer you’ve always hoped to be…and, most importantly, about finishing the work you start.

We gravitate toward stories from an early age. But when it’s time to write, we sometimes forget how important it is to weave story into our own work, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. Every month, we’ll explore how and why story captures readers as well as discussing the ways both new and experienced writers can use story as a guide to envisioning, drafting, revising, and publishing their work. This series offers an opportunity to talk about what reading and writing means to us, but also a practical, actionable approach to accountability and the skills, practice, and habits we must build in order to create magic on the page. There will be ample opportunities to write and to share your own work, and we ask that you come ready to provide constructive feedback to others.

We open with “Must Have Plot,” a session dedicated to understanding and capturing what drives us to write. We’ll discuss our earliest reading lives as well as the stories that captivate us now. Knowing what we love to read will form the basis of generating ideas for the projects we’ll work on during the salon, whether you’re just starting a book, midway through a draft, or revising. We’ll dedicate much of this session to discovering and starting on “The Story Behind the Book,” a 3-5 page essay which is an invaluable tool for understanding the spark that drives you to write. We’ll also examine and dispel some of the fears and myths around writing as well as commit to a regular writing practice as a community. Each participant will finish this first session with several concrete ideas as well as a plan to start writing (or keep going!).

Reading list:

Read Mother Tongue, Amy Tan’s essay on the power of language

Read The Getaway Car, Ann Patchett’s essay on everything she knows about writing

Watch The Gap, a short video created from an interview on storytelling with Ira Glass, host of This American Life



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December 4, 2021
1:00 pm - 3:30 pm EST
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