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One problem of writing workshops is that participants almost always finish reading the story under discussion, whether it has any urgency and momentum or not. In the real world, that’s not always the case. How do we get a sense of urgency into our stories that will suggest that something of real importance (to the narration, to the reader) is going on there? How can that urgency be conveyed? Captain Happen will come to our rescue. We’ll have examples from Alice Munro and Andre Dubus, among others. Participants will be invited to try some exercises using these elements, writing with great bravery.
Charles Baxter teaches at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of five novels, five collections of short stories, three collections of poems, two collections of essays on fiction and is the editor of other works.