Fiction Workshop: Intermediate Fiction Writing

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Fiction Workshop: Intermediate Fiction Writing


Level: Intermediate

Instructor: April Dávila

Location: Online
Duration: 8 weeks
Begins: July 22, 2019
Ends: September, 15, 2019


This class is for students who already know the basics of fiction writing. Maybe you are starting your first novel. Maybe you have outlined a new short story and are ready to start writing. Or, maybe you took our Introduction to Fiction Writing workshop. If any of these are true, then this is the class for you.

This 8-week intermediate class is for writers who understand the elements of fiction. They will be familiar with point of view, first sentences, plot, character, conflict and resolution, description, dialogue, setting, and theme. All of these are examined more closely throughout the course, but this class is for the writer ready to move their writing up a level.

This class starts with a quick review of these fiction basics. We then move on to discuss tone, voice, theme, style, pacing, foreshadowing, beginnings and endings, show vs. tell, symbolism, structure, metaphor, language, and all-important revision. Exercises help the student dig deeper into their story, to unearth character truths and beliefs. The instructor suggests readings or books on an individual or group basis. He discusses too how to establish a productive writing practice. Students submit work for instructor feedback each week. They also exchange feedback with other students twice during the term (during weeks four and eight). Although production remains up to the work ethic and goals of the writer, the expected outcome is to finish a new draft of a short story or novel chapter. Like all Pen and Paper Writing Workshops, this class is conducted in a safe, nurturing and caring environment.

Class Outline

Week 1: A Recap of Fiction Elements

Week 2: Using Tone, Voice & Theme in Fiction

Week 3: Pacing & Foreshadowing: Understanding Them

Week 4: Beginnings & Endings: The Best They Can Be

Week 5: Symbolism, Metaphor & Language: Make Your Writing More Complex

Week 6: Show vs Tell: A Deeper Look

Week 7: Revision: A Writer’s Single Most Important Skill

Week 8: Your Current Draft: Are You Ready to Go On?

Instructor Bio

April Dávila's debut novel, 142 Ostriches, is slated for publication in February of 2020 and was listed by Publisher's Marketplace as one of their exclusive "Buzz Books" for the coming season. Her short stories have appeared in Toho Journal, F(r)iction Magazine, The Santa Clara Review and more. She was a resident of the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in 2017 and attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers in 2018. Her award- winning blog can be found at She is a practicing Buddhist, half-hearted gardener, and occasional runner. 


"A story told with depth and beauty about the many things we inherit from our families. Davila's characters [in her novel, 142 Ostriches] are familiar, yet unforgettable, and I'm waiting patiently for what she writes next."

 Wayétu Moore, author, She Would Be King