4. On Saturday, November 23, I’ll be conducting a REALLY BIG (channel your inner Ed Sullivan voice here) workshop where I show the movie THELMA & LOUISE and provide commentary throughout, showing salient fiction techniques, for the Indiana Writer’s Center. This one is a labor of love and exhausting to deliver and I’ve heard rave after rave from those who’ve attended this one before. Click on http://www.indianawriters.org/ or go to http://www.indianawriters.org/products/a-fiction-writers-workshop-at-the-bijou for complete information.
A Fiction Writer's Workshop at the BijouInstructor: Les Edgerton
Date: Saturday, November 23
Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Marian University/TBD
Cost: $114 non-members, $78 members, $66 student/teacher/senior members
A Fiction Writer's Workshop at the Bijou will focus on the practical aspects of fiction writing as informed by the film Thelma & Louise which we will watch in its entirety. I will stop the movie frequently to point out various techniques in characterization, dialogue, plot, story structure, transitions, mood and tone, setting, creating riveting scenes, and other elements that you can apply to your fiction. As a decided bonus, Bijou will also provide crucial information on such topics as why "watercooler moments" are important in creating a bestseller and how to create them.
And, finally, I’d like to share a couple of recent reviews on Amazon for THE RAPIST that gladden my heart:
Absolute brilliance is the only way I can describe this book. You could call it a noir novel, but I'd say it's more firmly in the tradition of works like Camus' THE STRANGER or Ernesto Sabato's THE TUNNEL or Walker Percy's LANCELOT. The novel as existential monologue told by an unrepentant criminal. Edgerton himself said that a prime inspiration for the novel came from the Charles Bukowski story "The Fiend", which is about a man raping a little girl. Except that in "The Fiend", as Edgerton put it, even Bukowski pulled back a bit, forgoing his usual first person narration to tell the story in the third person. In other words, Bukowski didn't handle this material head on; Edgerton dares to.
THE RAPIST also brings to mind Dostoyevsky's NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND and (I do not say this blithely) Nabokov's LOLITA. Truman Ferris Pinter is even darker in his personality than Humbert Humbert, but the brilliance and audacity he uses language with, to convince himself and us of certain things, is quite like Humbert. How reliable is this narrator? And Truman, like Humbert, can be, shall we say, not entirely self-aware. There is a house of mirrors quality to this novel that is quite Nabokovian. And as in LOLITA, we get inside the mind of someone almost everyone would consider despicable, and if we don't, well, like him, we certainly understand him. Then there's the Borges influence, the mind-bending what is real what is dream what is real aspect of the book. In a way completely appropriate to Truman, the novel ends in a manner that reminded me of Borges's great story "The South." I really can't say much more than that or I'll be giving too much away. Suffice it to say, the ending is perfect, the last line a dinger that sums up Truman and reduced me to dark dark laughter.
This is a memorable book, a tough uncompromising book, a book that in the very best way calls upon a great literary tradition to be not quite like anything ever written before it.
As he waits on death row, he has a religious struggle within himself about what will happen to him after his number is called. If you do not have a religion, what will become of the soul? But, you have to wonder if Truman really had a soul.
Beautifully written, yet very disturbing. I highly recommend it.
Hope to see some of you at some of these events!