Picking at Scabs with John F.D. Taff

Learn how to fill your short fiction with BIG emotion. In this four week class, John will help you pinpoint an emotional flashpoint in your life and turn it into a smashing horror story.

Your Instructor: "King of Pain" John F.D. Taff, author of over 90+ short stories and 5 novels.

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here

Enrollment: 16

Price: $325

Class Description

As REM said, everybody hurts.  So how do you, as a writer, use your pain for fun and profit? How do you, as Hemingway said, sit down at a typewriter and bleed? And how do you do this without alienating readers?

That's where multi-Bram Stoker Award-Nominated "King of Pain" John F.D. Taff comes in. With over 90+ short stories and 5 novels published, John knows a thing or two about crafting harrowing yet relatable work. By the end of this four week class, you will be able to:

  • Translate the things that mean the most in your life into fiction with an edge.
  • Employ emotional writing to give your work a ring of truth.
  • Unlock your story's flow and direction with an emotional through-line.
  • Stay true to your pain without triggering readers.

This class will feature written lectures and writing exercises that will be critiqued by your fellow classmates and by John. So tear off those scabs, face your fears, and get ready to write!

What This Class Covers

Week 1: Identifying the Emotion

  • Avoid getting tripped up in the lure of memory & nostalgia.
  • Emotion doesn’t have to be all anger or hurt.
  • Learn that everything is a love story.

Week 2: Picking the Scab

  • Write your story as you remember it.
  • The importance of character amalgams.
  • Pick at the wound without bleeding out.

Week 3: Let Pain Direct the Story

  • Merge your pain with a story idea.
  • Make your progress easier with emotional shorthand.
  • Avoid letting the pain get in the way of story.

Week 4: Sticking the Dismount & Avoiding Triggers

  • Completing the circle is cathartic to readers—and writers!
  • Avoid triggers in readers.
  • Achieve emotional transference and make your story memorable.

Goals Of This Class

  • Write a harrowing, emotional piece of short horror fiction.
  • Channel real emotions in your writing.
  • Identify possible triggers for readers and learn how to soften them when necessary.
  • Work with your instructor and your fellow students toward producing the best work possible.
  • Leave class with a completely critiqued short story manuscript.
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