Conflict: The Machine of Fiction

On Sunday, Oct 2, 2-4 pm at the Delridge Library, local author Karen Finneyfrock will teach a workshop as a part of the Seattle Writes program. (If you can’t make this date, find her at Greenwood Library on Nov 12, 2-4 pm).

This workshop is particularly geared toward writers working on a novel. In the class you will examine readings, discuss them, and be given writing exercises. The purpose is “to explore the inherent conflicts that make up the world of our stories: conflict with nature, society, law, and conflict between people.” Ooh, sounds dramatic!

Karen Finneyfrock is a poet, novelist, and writing teacher. She is a former Writer-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House in Seattle and teaches for Seattle Arts and Lectures’ Writers-in-the-Schools program. In 2010, Karen traveled to Nepal as a Cultural Envoy through the U.S. Department of State to perform and teach poetry and, in 2011, she did a reading tour in Germany sponsored by the U.S. Embassy. She has published two novels and one book of poems, all of which we carry at the library!

If you are attending the class, you might want to get versed in her material beforehand (to show what a good student you are). Indeed you can study her work to see how she creates conflict.

In the coming-of-age young adult novel Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, Starbird leaves her Family Farm at 16 to work Outside in the Free Family Café. She moves into a communal home in Seattle and registers for public school. But she soon learns life in the Free Family is not all she thought it would be…

In Finneyfrock’s second young adult novel, The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door, “Celia the Dark” – a self-described outcast in a sea of vanilla – befriends the new guy at school. Celia helps Drake woo his crush, while keeping his sexual identity a secret from everyone. Drake helps Celia pour her energy into writing poems rather than dwelling in the dark side. Yet old habits die hard…

Ceremony for the Choking Ghost is a book of poems about grief and its effect on the body, the body politic, memory and – love. These poems fall on the heels of a three-year writing block after the loss of her sister due to heart failure.

Finneyfrock contributed to a third young adult book, Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girlswith other women writers in a collection of poems. They are intended to offer advice, critique, reflection, commiseration, humor, sorrow and of course, rage.

As you can see Finneyfrock is primarily a young adult author as of yet. She may be just the voice you need as you learn to develop drama and conflict in your own writing.

~posted by Nicole

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