**Announcing: Death on the Page – August 10 at 5:30pm Pacific Time**
Last week one of our TNP Get-Your-Book students wrote me, “Help! One of my characters is about to die, and I’m not sure how to handle this death in the book.”
I instantly thought about ALL of the writers working with us in the 2022 cohort and how MANY of them are dealing with death on the page. I knew this one student was asking a question everyone could benefit from examining, so I called my dear friend, author (of both fiction and memoir) Laura Kalpakian. “You’ve had to write through the death of characters in your books, right? Will you come talk to us? And SOON??”
She said yes. And then we both agreed that we would open the conversation to writers beyond our Get-Your-Book-Done program. That’s where YOU come in.
Writer, if your book includes the death of one of your characters (whether fictional or “real,” as with memoir), there are four important issues to consider as you position that death in the arc of the story. What ARE the four interconnected, crucial questions prose writers need to ask—and answer—as they navigate death on the page?
- What is the “function” of the death in the narrative?
- Whose perspective or point of view does the story follow? Is it the Deceased or the Bereaved?
- Are the narrative reverberations of this death social and, therefore, felt socially? Are they personal/intimate, propelling the character inwardly? And/or are the repercussions allied to the story thematically?
- All deaths are not equal. How does the KIND of death (i.e., violent? accidental? long illness? suicide?) matter to the story? How will the narrative treat the death of a character based on what sort of death s/he/they suffered?
Answering these questions will help writers toward dramatic economy and tension, thematic depth, and with the issue of developing characters with narrative choices.
As you write about death in your story, make sure you’re considering all of the questions above. Join us for an in-depth discussion about Death on the Page with award winning author, Laura Kalpakian.
The Narrative Project is offering a one-time two-hour special opportunity to our current students and we are inviting writers everywhere to join us for only $27!!
When: Wednesday, August 10 at 5:30 Pacific Time
Laura Kalpakian is the author of sixteen novels and four collections of short fiction published in the US and the UK. Recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and nominated for the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, her work has garnered acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Her short stories have appeared in the Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, and the US, UK, and India Good Housekeeping, as well as many other magazines and literary journals.
Her latest novel, The Great Pretenders, was released in Spring 2019. And her memoir and writing guide, Memory into Memoir, were released in 2021.