Set Your Story Up Right

Make your lunch mean something. Come enjoy a great meal and learn from someone who has mastered the craft of writing. REDTalks are a stimulating, engaging way to learn more about writing, all in the space of a Friday lunch hour.  These talks build upon and expand Arts + Literature’s successful Craft Talk Series. Seating is limited to 20, so please register early. 

Some books are easier to write than others, and Michelle Wildgen has looked back over her novels to figure out why. The answer seems to lie not only in how a writer revises, but in how she plans the essentials of the story and situation. A book with an ill-defined situation or ineffective catalyst can lead to fewer and fuzzier storylines to guide the writer as she figures out her characters and their stories. Writing a book will always require plenty of revision, but it is far easier to start with the building blocks in a helpful configuration than to dig in and retrofit the whole story later on. In this talk, Michelle will use specific examples of what has worked for her and what has not, as she discusses guidelines that can help a writer to devise a novel's essential situation, tweak it to heighten its tensions, and find ways to pay attention to characters and situations so that it all builds into a cohesive, meaningful story.

Madison WI Writer Michelle Wildgen

Michelle Wildgen is an executive editor with fifteen years experience at Tin House Magazine. She is a cofounder and teacher of creative writing at the Madison Writers’ Studio, and the author of three novels: Bread and Butter: A Novel, But Not for Long, and You’re Not You, which has been adapted for a film starring Hilary Swank and Emmy Rossum. 

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Arts + Literature Laboratory is located in Madison’s Schenk-Atwood neighborhood at 2021 Winnebago Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53704.

Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11am-3pm during exhibitions or by appointment. Please check the exhibitions calendar before planning your visit, as the gallery is closed between exhibitions and other schedule changes are posted here.


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