Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

WEBINAR: Going Deeper with Our Writing

Date(s) - 01/27/2020 - 02/25/2020
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm



Beneath the Surface: Going Deeper with Our Writing

Mondays, January 27, February 10, & February 24, 2020


Join us for one, or all three!

This webinar series is not to be missed for middle grade and young adult authors.

(Lectures will be recorded for those who miss the live feed.)

Part I: Writing Between the Lines: How the unspoken elements of dialogue reveal character, emotion, and voice, and tension, and how this propels your story forward.

Dialogue is a central to revealing character, showing and evoking emotion, and advancing your story’s plot. But spoken words only account for about a third of most dialogue passages, and the spoken words rarely carry the full emotion or fully reveal the character’s unique take on the world. If used correctly, interwoven unspoken material magnifies emotional weight, increases tension, and more deeply reveals character. In addition, certain pitfalls make dialog unrealistic, increase emotional distance, and conflict with the energy and tone of the scene. We’ll explore how to avoid these, so dialog has maximum emotional power.
Part II: Writing Between the Scenes: How transitional material between scenes develops tension and pulls your story forward.
Scenes, the real-time passages in your story, are where the action takes place. Strong scenes are critical, but the material that follows each scene (sometimes referred to as “sequel”) is also key. The sequel lets you show how what happened matters emotionally. It gives characters (and readers) time to reflect, recover, react, and decide what to do next. The sequel lets you deepen emotion and create causal connections between your scenes. This workshop explores the key functions of sequels and how to write them more purposefully.
Part III: Writing Beneath the Skin: Deepening the Emotion in your Story
Telling readers about emotion and using stock emotional images—hot tears welling up, clenched teeth and stomachs—leave readers feeling flat. Instead of making readers cognitively aware of emotion, we want to make them feel the emotion themselves and associate what they’re feeling with the characters. To do this, we use particular kinds of evocative metaphor, images and details with emotional resonance, objects we’ve purposefully endowed with emotion in earlier scenes, objects and setting that mirror character emotion. These all evoke emotion in readers and cause them to bond and empathize with your characters and story, and come away feeling moved.

Get to know your instructor: Eric K. Taylor

Eric is the author of Using Folktales (Cambridge) and editor of the contemporary language version of William Penn’s Some Fruits of Solitude (Herald). His adult poetry and creative non-fiction have most recently appeared in River Teeth (“Beautiful Things” series), Plough Quarterly, and Poetica. Recent children’s poems have appeared in The Caterpillar and ImperfectPoems about Mistakes: An Anthology for Middle Schoolers. His passion is writing for children and young adults.

Eric holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He has taught college-level writing, editing, and ESL; has done readings and discussions in elementary classrooms; and has led classes and workshops at AWP, StoryMakers, Eastern PA SCBWI, the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Breadloaf, the Vermont Conference on Christianity & the Arts, the Northern Pen Young Writers’ Conference, the Gove Hill Writing Retreat, and elsewhere. He has also served on the steering committee for the Vermont Conference on Christianity and the Arts. Find out more about him at