Is plot the only thing that moves a character along their journey? As readers, what moves our hearts? We will explore what moves us—and our characters—by looking at the heart of plot, its poetic and emotional elements. Often the poetic is all about slowing down: a moment of reflection, a memory or image, a time of noticing. How can such stillness actually be about momentum—both physical and emotional? We will look at examples of stillness in fiction, examining the role these moments play in plot, but also how they engage readers, making the story linger in their minds and hearts. Finally, we will mine our own narratives, finding the hidden poetry and working to strengthen it.
Leigh Claire Schmidli holds an M.F.A. in Fiction and served as poetry editor for the literary journal Jelly Bucket. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have been honored by A Room of Her Own Foundation and the Kentucky Foundation for Women and have appeared in journals such as Ruminate, Carve, Bellingham Review, and the Los Angeles Review.Register