March 21, 2015 Special Event: Five Keys To Finishing Your Story


NOTE: This extended workshop takes place at the Visount Hotel (4855 East Broadway) from 9am-3pm. Cost is $45 members, $55 nonmembers. (See below.)


Do most of your stories start with a bang and end with a whimper? Do you have drafts with squishy middles and no “The End” in sight? Nancy Ellen Dodd is here to help with her workshop, The Five Keys to Finishing Your Story.

This interactive workshop will explain the basic concepts of story mapping and how to take your work to the next level. It will help you recognize:

  1. Where you are in the story development,
  2. Which voice to write in,
  3. How to punch up your characters,
  4. How to know where your story should begin,
  5. What you need to finish your story.

Nancy will talk to writers in-depth on story writing elements and how to apply them more effectively to their individual work.

What You Will Learn:

Two individuals will be chosen to bring up to three (3) basic story problems they need to solve in order to finish their novel, short story, or screenplay.

Nancy will talk about ways to answer story problems. She will also give the two individuals feedback on their pages in a way that will enable the whole class to learn from the process.

About The Writers Compass:

Ms. Dodd teaches advanced screenwriting at Pepperdine University, and wrote “The Writer’s Compass: From Storymap to Finished Draft in 7 Stages.” This workshop includes material not in her book.

Instructor: Nancy Ellen Dodd

nancy-ellen-doddNancy Ellen Dodd is a writer, a university instructor, and an editor. She received her master’s in Professional Writing from the University of So. California with a concentration in dramatic writing/screenwriting and her MFA in playwriting at USC’s School of Theatre. Having studied writing for more than 25 years, Dodd currently teaches screenwriting at Pepperdine University for undergraduate and graduate students.

She also studied writing with several successful, award-winning writers: Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Paul Zindel; playwrights Velina Hasu-Houston, Oliver Mayer, David Milton, and Lee Wochner; screen and television writer Sy Gomberg; and international poet James Ragan.

Dodd has received numerous awards for her writing, which include screenplays, plays, short stories, short films, and novel-length works, as well as inspirational writing. She has also published more than 130 articles in local and national publications including interviews with celebrities and business leaders.

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Please note that this is a special event and will not take place in our usual venue. This workshop is at the Viscount Hotel (4855 East Broadway) and there is no Chapter meeting this month.

Meeting fee of $45 members, $55 guests and walk-ins includes a sandwich-bar lunch. SPACE MAY BE LIMITED. Walk-ins are welcome, but whenever possible, please guarantee your spot by reserving on our payments page or by emailing reservations@tucsonRWA.org no later than 8am Wednesday before the meeting.