Susan Mackay Smith

Tactical Writing

Presented by Carol Berg and Susan Mackay Smith

14 March 2021, 2-4 pm
Anyone can combine nouns, verbs, and adjectives into sentences and paragraphs by following some simple mechanical, grammatical rules. But pages of words sorted into paragraphs do not a story make. This workshop will discuss techniques writers can use to organize these fundamental constructs to create vivid settings and scenes of vibrant action, true emotion, and honest tension.
Carol Berg

Tactical writing applies the writer’s intent to every choice. We will examine how to pack a punch through word choice and rhythms, and how to strip out flaws that blur or distort the clarity that keeps readers engaged. We will look at using paragraphs effectively to comingle information delivery, scene setting, and character development, while eliminating distracting digressions. We will talk about building tension by choreographing scenes, choosing how paragraphs relate to each other and considering what reactions we are trying to achieve. We will analyze how to use the fundamental fiction blocks to build organic, vital scenes, the key elements to a good story that will propel readers onward to a conclusion that leaves them satisfied.

About Carol and Susan
Carol Berg’s eighteen epic fantasy novels have earned national and international acclaim, including the Geffen Award, the Prism Award, multiple Colorado Book Awards, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. She also writes fantasy adventure under the name Cate Glass.
Susan Mackay Smith is the past president of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and a frequent judge of the Colorado Book Awards . She has been writing a monthly Conan the Grammarian column for over ten years, and is traditionally published in fantasy under the nom de plume Mackay Wood.
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