Often when we hit stalls and stumbles in our work, it's because we have not gone deep enough or have not yet mapped our story’s true heart. How do we find our way there? One way is research and reporting. If the old adage is “write what you know,” points out Margot Livesay, “research helps us know more.”
In this four-week seminar for writers engaged in a fiction or nonfiction project at any stage, we will investigate how the four modes of research—1) Archival documents/data records 2) Newspaper articles/court documents 3) Interviewing and experts and 4) Experience and self research—can be used to check and correct our own memories, open up new corners of the universe previously unknown to us, teach us about experiences we could never have, and instruct us in trades, skills, processes, and the inner workings of communities.
Whether you are pursuing a story, novel, essay, memoir or book of reported nonfiction, this course will introduce you to the basics of using research and reporting to tunnel more deeply into your characters, settings, time periods, and subcultures, steadily steering you away from tired choices and towards the insight and surprise that only the real world can offer you.
Wednesdays, September 4-25, 8:00 pm EST. Register here.