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Sunday Webinar: To Unpack or Not to Unpack? That is the Question.

  • 26 Nov 2023
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Zoom


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To Unpack or Not to Unpack? That is the Question.

Member Price: $15

Non-Member Price is $25

Join us for a two-hour interactive online workshop with SFU writing mentor Stella Harvey: To Unpack or Not to Unpack? That is the Question.

Stories need to draw readers in so they are fully immersed. The reader is an invisible witness who sees, and more importantly, feels every nuance and complication as the unfolds. Sensory details and scenes mixed with appropriate and well-placed exposition is the key to making readers feel. But how does a writer determine the appropriate balance between exposition and scenes? That is the topic we’ll discuss in this two hour workshop entitled, To Unpack or Not to Unpack. How and when do we break down exposition? There are no easy answers. But using your specific examples of a paragraph or page of exposition, we’ll see how we might change the exposition into a scene and whether this change enhanced your story. 

Please bring a paragraph of exposition from one of your stories or chapters. This might be a paragraph or page where you’ve introduced a character or an interaction between characters and summarized the exchange by way of a telling exposition. If a paragraph or page doesn’t immediately come to mind, think about a time when you received feedback on your work and someone said, “you could really raise the tension here or make us feel what is going on here if you unpack the exposition.”

Recommended reading: Resonance: Essays on the Craft and Life of Writing by Andrew Chesham & Laura Farina (Eds.)

Stella Harvey is the founder and now retired artistic director of the Whistler Writers Festival, now in its 22 year. She is the author of three novels, including, Nicolai’s Daughters (2012), The Brink of Freedom (2015) and Finding Callidora (2019), all published by Signature Editions in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Nicolai’s Daughters was also published in Greek by Psichogios Publications of Athensin 2014. Stella’s fiction has been short listed in various literary contests, including twice in the Writers Union of Canada short fiction contest and has appeared in The Literary Leanings Anthology, The New Orphic Review, Emerge Magazine, and The Dalhousie Review. Her non-fiction has appeared on CBC and The Globe and Mail. She also mentors students in The Writers’ Studio at Simon Fraser University.   

Digital Doors Open at 1:55 PM, Event Starts at 2:00 PM

**This event will be recorded.

Supported by the British Columbia Arts Council

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