Master Classes

Master classes are in-depth sessions designed to thoroughly explore topics relevant to the craft of romance writing.

TROPE-TASTIC: The Key to Genre

Instructor: Damon Suede

Tropes are the rocket fuel of romance. Classic story patterns signal the ride ahead so that everyone can find the perfect book to take them where they want to go. Whether industry pros or passionate fans, trope addicts crave their favorites and build their booklists accordingly. Learn to tap the language that attracts the right audience, streamlines your stories, and leaves them needing more. We’ll tackle:

  • Genre-specific actions and dynamic literary structure that leverage trope history and theory
  • Trope signals that attract the right fanbase and anchor your work at every stage
  • Categoric language for characterization, dramatization and marketing of any project
  • Evolution of tropes from mythic elements and reflection of the current cultural moment
  • Pattern hunting to help you track story mutations to keep your writing fresh and flexible

In this advanced master class, we’ll untangle the scope of tropes and their timeless power to sell a project, shape a story, and grab imaginations. Whether you like to wing it or bring it, you’ll leave this workshop with a new handle on harnessing reader expectations for pleasure and profit.

NOTE: Damon’s master class will take place on Thursday, the day before the conference officially starts, and has an additional fee of $50.

The Inner World

Instructor: Kathy Lyons / Jade Lee

Every person has an inner landscape that shapes his/her actions. Join USA Today Bestselling author Kathy Lyons / Jade Lee as she walks you through the creation of inner motivations, childhood traumas, and behavior patterns. It will illuminate your characters and shine a light on your own drives whether they’re self-destructive or rocket fuel. Careers aren’t created by books, they’re crafted from your inner heart. Find out if your subconscious is helping or destroying your process.

Write Better White People

Instructor: Jen Prokop

This workshop is for romance authors who want to learn how inclusion in romance strengthens the genre and how learning to be an ally to authors of color will in turn help them to not write problematic characters or be reductive in their rendering of PoC characters.

Jen will talk a little about this work and why it’s so important, and introduce some key ideas/facts/statistics about the state of publishing to lay some groundwork. She’ll raise the question that often comes up, “Wouldn’t it be better for white people to ‘write diversity,’ and explain why that’s actually troubling for lots of reasons: the goal isn’t for white people to write diversely, it’s to provide a space for #OwnVoices authors to tell their own stories.

So what can white writers do to help make the world a better, more just place: write better white people. She’ll end by talking about the urgency of white people learning from each other rather than always asking people of color to do the burden of “teaching us.”

Getting the Most Out of Scrivener

Instructor: Virginia Van Vynckt

Many writers swear by Scrivener—with good reason. The digital equivalent of a word processor plus well-organized filing cabinet, the popular software can help you organize your manuscript, ideas, research, and notes. It even tracks your writing progress, and can sync your work across multiple devices. Its complexity does require a fair amount of learning. Join “creative geek” Virginia Van Vynckt as she guides you on an in-depth tour of Scrivener. Whether you’re an absolute beginner to the software or you’ve been using it as a glorified word processor and would like to take better advantage of its many features, this class is for you. All Spring Fling attendees will receive discounts on Scrivener software and on a Scrivener video course on Udemy.