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Janis Thomas

Storyteller's Toolbox — Concepts from the Official Novel Intensive

Understanding the key elements in fiction that create an engaging experience for your reader

9:00-11:30 AM
RM 269

Whether you’re writing sci-fi, paranormal, coming of age, romance, or memoir, strong stories have key elements that draw the reader in. In order to create powerful and emotionally engaging prose, certain components must be addressed: plot, character creation, character arc, dialogue, scene construction, as well as other tools that will raise your story to the next level. We’ll take a look at plot development, from concept to execution, story structure and story beats. We’ll explore how to build a complex, relatable main character, his inner and outer journey and transformative arc, and how to interweave that arc with the plot to produce a compelling read.


Janis Thomas is the author of bestselling What Remains True (Lake Union, 2017) and the upcoming All That’s Left of Me (June 2018). She’s written three critically acclaimed, humorous women's fiction novels, Something New, Sweet Nothings, and Say Never. Award-winning Murder in A-Minor is the first in her musical murder mystery series. Janis has written over fifty songs, and two children’s books, which she wrote with her dad. When she isn’t writing or fulfilling her PTA duties, Janis likes to play tennis, sing with her sister, and throw lavish dinner parties with wild menus for friends and loved ones. She lives in Southern California with her husband, their two beautiful children and two crazy dogs.