Classes & Workshops
Damon teaches hither and yon. If you're a genre fiction pro interested in checking out some of his presentations, you might consider attending one of the scheduled classes or seeing if he can present to your local writing group.
- 1 April 2017: a one day workshop for the CTRWA (Norwalk, CT)
- 8 April 2017: an Indelible Dialogue class for the NECRWA conference (Burlington, MA)
- 1-2 May 2017: The annual RT Bootcamp (Atlanta, GA)
- 17 June 2017 a full day workshop for Windy City RWA (Chicago, IL)
- 6 July 2017: a full day workshop on A-Game marketing for Midwest Fiction Writers (Minneapolis, MN)
- 26-29 July 2017: RWA National Conference (Orlando, FL)
- 8-10 September 2017: FictionFest for CTRWA, class TBD (Hartford, CT)
- 23-24 September 2017: a two-day workshop for the Long Island RWA chapter (Long Island, NY)
- 7 October 2017: a full-day workshop for Northwest Houston RWA
- 13-14 October 2017: a keynote and workshops for NJRWA (Iselin, NJ)
- 21 October 2017: a keynote and workshops for the Orange County RWA (Brea, CA)
- 4 November 2017: a day-long workshop for Valley Forge RWA (Philadelphia, PA)
- 10 February 2018: a day-long workshop for Washington DC RWA
- 3-5 March 2017: workshops at the 2018 Dreamspinner Author Weekend (Orlando, FL)
- 20-21 April 2018 - Spring Fling 2018 with Chicago-North RWA (Chicago, IL)
- 26-28 October 2018: Keynote and workshops for Emerald City Writers Conference and GSRWA (Bellevue, WA)
Damon will happily opine about most things, but he's been teaching for a bunch of years on a wacky variety of topics. All of his classes provide substantive handouts and most of them include non-sucky powerpoint presentations to help cover complex material.
Some of the genre-writing subjects he's talked about during conventions, seminars, and gatherings past include: (click on titles for class-specific subpages where available)
CHARACTER: Giving your story a cast that dazzles. Fresh character-building techniques using simple tools that go beyond backstory and stereotypes that’ll flesh out an entire book. archetypes, tropes, and functions of genre characters; casting your story with unforgettable personalities. Character as the simplest way to plot your story and identify your hook.
PLOT: A plotting class even pantsers love… Even when a happy ending is certain, a great plot keeps your writing fresh while amplifying your voice. Learn how to craft a sure-fire structure and launch your story. We’ll go beyond the bullet points. Rather hammering one “true” blueprint, we’ll break down major story models from Aristotle to Netflix, identify their seven shared points, and help you develop your own narrative strategy.
DIALOGUE: screen/stage tricks for "unforgettable" convos, active and character-driven conversations, pacing and rhythm, establishing distinct voices for your fictional people, using dialogue to build character and advance plot.
INTIMACY: making love scenes memorable, use of slang, rhythm and logic, working out the mechanics of intercourse form sweet to raunchy, keeping sex in character, balancing kink and vanilla, gauging and manipulating heat levels for meet (and master) expectations.
BRANDING: the cornerstone of any promo and marketing plans. identifying, honing, and crafting an author brand and platform that gets the job done… wielding your brand effectively to build a career for long range goals.
PRESENCE: embodying your brand in a public setting, online and in person. Developing a coherent marketing platform and strategizing public appearances to cultivate your unique audience. Navigating the professional arena and building your A-gang.
SCENE & SEQUEL: Explaining and exploring Dwight Swain's analysis of popular fiction. Whether you call it “scene and sequel” or “action and reaction,” this basic storytelling pattern allows you to pace your plot, escalate your action, and find your story’s heat and tone. These old-school genre tools let you manage any story’s natural flow for a book readers can't put down.
COMEDY: the mechanics of humor, comedy archetypes, and comic plotting...along with a bag of tricks for adding levity and sparkle to any scene by unlocking the power of laughter. Using wit, schtick, and tricksters to deepen subtext and raise stakes within your story.
PITCHING & HOOKS: the importance of a ‘free prize’ in every book, using a high concept premise to anchor a project before and during the writing process…boiling a project into a logline that closes the sale.
TROPES: Uses and abuses of form and formula in genre stories. Narrative patterns and recurring structures specific to certain subgenres. Trope history and evolution. Navigating the border between cliché and archetype.
VOICE: identifying and developing your unique authorial style for maximum impact. Strengthening distinctive elements (tone, pace, language, tropes, humor) that set your writing apart from the herd.
WORLDBUILDING: for fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi and contemporary all books deserve a fully-fleshed world, prioritizing details for single title and series; language, laws, and meaningful specifics that make stories feel real.
POWERS & TOOLS: Hocus pocus with focus...and science that can stand scrutiny. Adapting or inventing occult traditions and/or technology that drive a narrative and support character development. (cf degree in Religion/Philosophy and 20 years lecturing on magick, tech, and mythology).
MYTHOLOGY & FOLKLORE & ESOTERICA: presentations on religion, ritual, legends, and all manner of cultural belief systems off the beaten path.
Would you like Damon to present to your group, chapter or an upcoming genre event? He has class options out the hoo-hoo and his NYC location keeps travel costs surprisingly inexpensive. Drop him a line with the relevant details and he'll do whatever he can to get his behonkus there.