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Saturday, April 30 • 2:45pm - 3:45pm
8E: Eavesdrop Like You Mean It LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

"Any place is good for eavesdropping, if you know how to eavesdrop." - Tom Waits

In this session, we will discuss the time-honored traditions of eavesdropping, people watching, and passive listening. How can the observations we glean from these activities enhance our writing? How can eavesdropping lead to better scenes, character development, dialogue? And how do we translate our observations into purposeful prose?

Paying particular attention to how the reader processes -- "sees" and "hears" -- a scene, we will examine several examples of successful scene-building through the use of observed details. We will also look at scenes in which the main characters are engaging in similar observational acts, and how these acts themselves mirror the readers' position and point of view.

Lastly, we will explore the pitfalls and trip points inherent in including too much texture through too much observation, and how we can best balance world-building with meaningful details. Through a mix of short exercises and discussion, participants will learn to eavesdrop like the pros.

avatar for William Belcher

William Belcher

W.B. (Bill) Belcher is the author of Lay Down Your Weary Tune (Other Press), which came out in 2016. He is also the Director of Development & External Relations for Ucross Foundation and President of Wordhorse Strategies, LLC, where he's worked with many literary, visual, and performing... Read More →

Saturday April 30, 2016 2:45pm - 3:45pm EDT
Franklin Room