March 1-3, 2019
Las Vegas
Tuscany Suites and Casino

The emotional effect of fiction on readers is more than just luck.  It's a craft.  

Based on psychological research and extensive study of what makes novels emotionally gripping, workshop participants will discover how to go beyond showing or telling to create an emotional journey for readers--one unseen but nevertheless deeply felt and ultimately unforgettable.

Spend three days learning about the craft of writing emotion. Topics and techniques include:

  • 3rd Level Emotions: Emotional surprise and subtlety even in high-action scenes.

  • Small = Big: Using small details to build big emotions in readers.

  • Making Inactive Scenes Matter: What's happening when "nothing is happening".

  • Tension & Energy Shifts: How to pace a novel's unseen emotional plot.

  • Emotional Hooks & Bonding Readers: Unnoticed dimensions of great openings.

  • Plotting the Non-Plot Driven Novel: It's not about forcing out plot but posing the right questions.

  • The Emotional Plot and the Reader's Map: Plot considered as emotional opportunities.

  • Emotional Goals and Turning Points in Scenes: The inner scene and how to shape it.

  • Scenes or Postcards: What's literary/what's commercial; changing versus illuminating; using both.

  • Story Worlds We Don't Want to Leave: It isn't the place itself but what we experience there.

  • Emotional Language: Poetry on the page comes not from words or imagery but from rhetorical devices.

  • Moving Readers with Change: Arc, step-by-step changes, cascading change, turns toward virtue.

  • The Emotional Mirror: Finding unused story potential by having protagonist interview author.


  • This workshop is a game-changer. If you are ready to elevate your novel to the next level, take this workshop.
    — Amy McLane, AZ
  • Just what I needed, just when I needed it, to make my story truly special.
    — Rex Griffin, OK
  • Of all the workshops I have taken on craft, I feel this one has given me the greatest understanding of how to make a story that matters. Not only to me (the writer) but to readers. Wow.
    — Brett Michaelian, CA
  • The Emotional Craft of Fiction is an essential workshop for novelists to further develop their craft. Anyone who wants to take their fiction to the next level should take this workshop.
    — Kathleen Colvin, OR

Whether you’re just beginning a new project or revising a completed work, this workshop is for you!

As with all of Free Expressions’ offerings, this will be a hands-on and intensive few days, so come prepared to work hard, be filled to the brim with useful information, and to connect with other writers in a supportive and challenging environment.



Workshop Check-in: 8:45 AM
Class: 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM (with break for provided lunch)


Class: 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM (with break for provided lunch)


Class: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM


Registration: $529USD


  • Lunch - Friday and Saturday

  • Coffee/tea/water in classroom each day

  • All handout materials, and more!

NOTE: Registration does not include overnight accommodations.


Las Vegas
March 1-3, 2019

Tuscany Suites and Casino
255 East Flamingo Rd. Las Vegas, Nevada 89169
Toll-Free: 877-Tuscan1
Local: 702-893-8933
RESERVATIONS: Confirmation details after registering for the event.