Killing Your Darlings: How to Handle Violence in Your Stories

The Writing Show

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Recap

Pencil by Sheila Sheppard Lovelady

Description

When it comes to showing violence in your story, how much is too much? Whether you’re writing about a soldier on the battlefield or a shooting at a school, there’s a fine line between showing your reader what’s happening and being insensitive to those who suffer these experiences in the real world. At this month’s Writing Show, we’ll show you how to keep your story exciting without resorting to exploitation.

Writer and actor Douglas Jones is well-known in the Richmond area for his class on “Writing the Shadow,” which teaches writers how to get in touch with their darker side and see what they can learn from it. He’ll lead this month’s panel discussion on what it takes to determine how far you can go with the violence in your story and the difference between reporting the facts and showing your reader more than they need to see.

Panelists

Mary BurtonNew York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton is the author of nineteen novels including her latest thriller The Seventh Victim. A Richmond native whose family’s roots run as deep as the nation’s, Mary still lives there. In 2000, she wrote her first novel, a historical romance. She wrote eleven more romance novels and three novellas before embracing the dark world of suspense. Research led her to both the Henrico County Citizens Police Academy and the Richmond FBI Citizen’s Academy as well as Sisters in Crime’s Forensic University program and the Writers Police Academy in Jamestown, North Carolina, where the focus was on undercover work, autopsies, and the theories behind why people kill.

 

Hermine PinsonHermine Pinson has published three poetry collections and released a CD in collaboration with Pulitzer-prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa. Pinson’s poetry, fiction, and prose have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals. She has had fellowships at Norton Island, Cave Canem, Macdowell Colony, Yaddo, Soul Mountain, Vermont Studio Center, and The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. She teaches creative writing and literature at the College of William and Mary.

 

Howard OwenHoward Owen is the author of 10 novels and is the business editor of The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg. His first novel, Littlejohn, was written in 1989 when he was 40 and published in 1992. His latest novel, Oregon Hill, was published in July 2012 and has been named as one of five finalists for the Hammett Prize for literary excellence in crime writing for 2012.

 

Bill BlumeBill Blume is the current chair for JRW’s Board of Directors and also served as chair for JRW’s annual conference in 2007. His short stories have appeared in various fantasy anthologies and online magazines. “Waist Deep,” his latest story, is being published this spring in the anthology The End Was Not The End from Seventh Star Press. Bill works as a 911 dispatcher for Henrico County and is a former television news producer. He earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of South Carolina.

 

Moderator

bod_douglas_jonesDouglas Jones writes plays for children and adults, 40 of which have been produced in venues around the country. Jones holds degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Virginia. He has taught at UVA, TheatreVirginia, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Virginia Opera, as well as in private schools in the Richmond area. Doug has also published short stories, poetry, nonfiction, and scripts for radio and video. He is a member of The Dramatists Guild and The Authors League of America. His interests in JRW include The Writing Show, the annual conference, and our writing contests.

 

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