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Picture of The Garden of Earthly Delights (Hell) (detail), Hieronymous Bosch.
Original image credit: The Garden of Earthly Delights (Hell) (detail), Hieronymous Bosch.

Where the Devil Is: The Craft of Specific Detail with Tara Ison

Date(s): Saturday, September 15, 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281 (view map)
Discussion, Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Fiction

$119 Regular, $107 ASU, $99 Student

About the Class

"Vivid detail is the life blood of all major genres, the inner strategy is the same: the reader is regularly presented with proofs - in the form of closely observed details - that what is said to be happening is really happening." - John Gardner, The Art of Fiction


Those "closely observed details" are what make our stories come alive, and engage the reader in both the external world we're creating, and the inner-lives of our characters. In this workshop/discussion, we'll discuss strategies for honing in on the illuminating the "telling detail," and explore how the selection of realistic, concrete, and specific details can help us create verisimilitude, illustrate theme, establish narrative authority, develop an idiosyncratic voice, and avoid generic cliché.

Meet Your Instructor

Picture of Tara Ison
Tara Ison is the author of three novels: The List (Scribner), A Child out of Alcatraz (Faber & Faber), a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Rockaway (Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press), featured as one of the "Best Books of Summer" in O, The Oprah Magazine, July 2013.