James Joyce Meets Judith Krantz
What if a narrative combined the secrets of both literary and commercial writing? A deep and meaningful story which is also a blockbuster?
It’s Time for Writers to Think Out of the Box
Respond to market forces without selling out. Drawing on her background as a James Joyce scholar, Dr. Brown introduces writers to the secrets of Western culture’s greatest writers. Also a lover of escape fiction and trash lit, Dr. Brown has developed The Cross-over Novel Workshop to help writers merge the literary and the commercial without sacrificing quality and depth. In this retreat with master teacher and James Joyce scholar Susan Brown, PhD, work toward beginning a new project or revising an existing one that creates a new genre, one that bridges the gap between serious fiction and genre literature.
We can learn as much about writing from the abysmally written Jaws as we can from Moby Dick.–Dr. Susan Brown
- Dust off that beautifully written literary novel you haven’t been able to place and add the ingredients that also make it a page-turner.
- Confront the hero of your whodonit with an emotional abyss that causes a character change and explore the profound mysteries of the human condition even as the external mystery is resolved.
- Write an entirely new novel that combines the secret handshakes of both literary and commercial fiction.
Comments about Susan Brown’s Workshops
Why Write a Cross-over Novel?
A Note from the Doctor
In my decades as a creative writing professor and book editor, I’ve witnessed talented writers unable to publish beautifully written and profound literary novels. Sparked by my frustration over watching gorgeous literary fiction and memoir never make it into print, I originated the Literary Blockbuster Contest for Inkubate.com and offered sold-out workshops in California, Mexico, Vermont, and New York. The Cross-over Novel Workshop (James Joyce Meets Judith Krantz) answers the questions: “Why did mystery writer Michael Connolly dramatically outsell the winner of the Man Booker Prize for Literature?” AND “Why can’t stunningly good writers find an agent or publisher?” As a James Joyce scholar and an equally enthusiastic consumer of “trash lit,” the question for me has always been: why can’t a slasher novel be philosophically profound?
It’s possible to write a well-crafted, complex, meaningful literary novel that’s also a page-turner and commercial success—even a blockbuster. But no one is doing it. My confidence in this yet-to-be created genre is inspired by two events—the sudden advent of literary mysteries in 1990 and the discovery of the mega-blockbuster formula in 2012 by a professor in Florida. Despite the shallowness and poor writing in most mega-blockbusters, we can learn a lot about good storytelling from the structure and devices in these books.
Today’s writers need to think out of the box if their deeply profound novel or memoir will ever reach an agent. In this workshop I challenge writers to create a fresh new genre—the literary blockbuster—which merges the goals and devices of serious fiction with those of the books that keep readers up all night. –
What will you learn?
How to construct any narrative in layers–scene by scene—not beginning to end–saving months, even years
How to integrate both sides of your brain for accessing all aspects of your project.
Six ways to access and maintain a mesmerizing narrative voice.
How to infuse your literary memoir and fiction with page-turning suspense.
How to draft using Hemingway’s “one true sentence”
How to unify your book with narrative threads and a leitmotif
How to create a charismatic narrative voice using internal monologue.
How to find the universal theme beating at the heart of your story
How to construct utilitarian but engaging 3-part dialogue
How to make each paragraph read like butter
How to brushstroke a minor character
How to create a mesmerizing character
How to develop a dual plot essential to combining literary and commercial
How to write a sex scene that won’t make a reader gag or yawn
How to craft a compelling opening with eight essential moving parts
How to keep the reader glued to a narrative with hooks and cliff-hangers
And that’s just before lunch!