Following the River: Pacing Your Book with Kati Standefer


What makes a book move with both tension and depth? In this three-part master class on pacing in memoir with Katherine Standefer, the author of Lightning Flowers: My Journey To Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life, you’ll learn how to use sentence-level, chapter-level, and book-level craft choices to make the muscle of your story coil and uncoil, tumbling downstream.

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What makes a book move with both tension and depth? 

Join Katherine Standefer, author of Lightning Flowers, for a 3-part master class on pacing in memoir. During our first session, you’ll take a deep dive into how your choices around chronology, scene, summary, and the layering of different types of material can move a story fluidly and with tension. In our second session, you’ll learn how your syntax contributes to the underlying tone and movement of both individual chapters and the larger book. In our final session, we’ll zoom out, touching into the way urgent questions frame a well-paced story, the importance of identifying the center of gravity in a narrative, and how certain types of material carry inherent pacing problems that need to be handled through macro-level structural choices.

Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life will be our shared text for the workshop, allowing writers to peek behind the scenes into Kati’s process of building, deepening, and tightening a complex book-length manuscript. Before the workshop begins, you’ll receive a set of assignments intended to get you thinking about how pacing works on a chapter level, on the sentence level, and on the book level—both in Kati’s, and in your own. Through class discussions and exercises, you’ll reflect on your own work-in-progress and what’s been holding you back. You‘ll leave the last session with a sharpened sense of how to make the muscle of your story coil and uncoil, tumbling downstream.

Buy your copy of Lightning Flowers here.

Workshop Schedule

Part 1: Saturday 2/27, 10a-12:30p Pacific

Part 2: Saturday, 2/27, 1:30-4p Pacific

Part 3: Sunday, 2/28, 10a-12:30p Pacific

Note: This workshop is limited to 25 participants. All sessions take place via Zoom.


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