Imagine cooking a bowl of hearty vegetable soup. The steps are as follows: choose your ingredients, chop up the vegetables, and simmer. You add some spices, a dash of salt to bring out the flavor, and select the perfect bowl, before ladling your creation into the dish, adding garnish and presenting your soup for eating. The final step is witnessing the look of satisfaction from your guests as the flavors you’ve chosen burst into their mouths.
Writing a novel is similar to making soup. The ingredients are your characters, the spices are the plot points, the bowl is the storyline—the vessel that holds everything together—and your guest is your reader.
It is our job as writers to bring our best recipe to the table. But sometimes, we get sidetracked: maybe we use out-of-date ingredients, weak spices, or a bowl that’s cracked, leaving our readers with a sudden loss of appetite.
Through the ritual of observation, our senses detect the world around us in a multifaceted manner, allowing us to open to the natural flow of our personal creativity. Presented with layers of detail, the subconscious is free to begin its work before tossing ideas back to our conscious mind. This is the point when the ideas flow freely and our writing deepens.
~ Mandy Jackson-Beverly
Mandy has worked as a costume designer and stylist for a diverse array of creative dynamos including photographer Herb Ritts; directors Joel and Ethan Coen, David Fincher, and Julien Temple; and music icons David Bowie, Madonna, and Tina Turner. She taught art and theater in high schools, blogged for The Huffington Post, and currently reviews books for The New York Journal of Books. She spins award-winning stories for her readers’ pleasure as well as her own and is passionate about sharing her creative knowledge with others through her Fiction Soup workshops. When Mandy’s not writing or reading (she has a fascination with Jung), she’s cooking, dancing, painting, or on walkabout—preferably in Italy.
Fiction Soup is here to help!
This workshop, Create Memorable Characters, includes in-class writing exercises to help you:
- Create believable characters
- Create character summaries and backstories
- Hone your observational skills
- Understand character motivation
- Use simple tools to train your body and mind to sit down daily and write
- Be a healthy writer
- Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
- Sundays: 1:30 to 4:30 pm
- Dates: May 19, 26, June 2, and 9, 2019
- Enrollment limit: 6 students
- Price: $235
- Sign-up deadline: May 6, 2019
Please Note: Applicants must submit the first chapter of their WIP before acceptance. Once a writer’s place is reserved, the workshop fee is nonrefundable.