• OCTOBER 17-20, 2024


Fiction and the Alchemy of Research

This session will provide a hands-on introduction to the art and alchemy of research in fiction writing. We’ll study passages from a number of novels that draw on particular documents and research findings in order to create imaginary worlds and intriguing characters. Participants will engage in their own attempts to “write around” an archival document—entries from a Civil War diary, a page from an early modern probate inventory—as a way to appreciate what’s involved when we seek to weave the archival findings of our research into the fabric of our prose. Participants will learn the practicality of research (how to approach it, how not to overdo it) as well as techniques for incorporating research into their fiction.

Session goals
•        Understand the purpose and importance of research in the writing of fiction
•        Learn how research is part of the creative enterprise of fiction writing 
•        Study how fiction writers incorporate research into the fabric of literary prose
•        Use several primary sources to imagine the crafting of a scene

Difficulty level: intermediate


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