The Mancos School of the West is taking a literary turn in a few weeks, with a fiction-writing workshop led by author Lisa C. Taylor.
Taylor uses characters to drive her writing, hence the class title – Liars, Criminals, and Lovers: Entering the World of Fiction.
“We’re going to take a little adventure into how stories happen, and ways in which you can tap into creative side of yourself, which I believe that everyone can,” she said.
Taylor is currently living in Connecticut, but she and her husband are moving to Mancos in a year, in order to be closer to her daughter, a teacher at Manaugh Elementary School. She hopes to fill a writing niche in the local arts community.
She is a creative writer and teacher who focuses on poetry and fiction. Most recently, Taylor published a collection of short stories called “Impossibly Small Spaces,” a book about people in really tight situations.
All sorts of characters make their way into her writing, she said. “Characters come to me,” Taylor said. “And it might be something like going to a coffee shop and hearing snippets of a conversation and then I get a fix on a character and then I want to write that character.”
Teenagers especially seem to creep in, perhaps because of her time spent teaching at an arts magnet school. In her latest collection, one of her stories is completely written in hashtags, tapping into a teenage voice that came to her, she said.
One of the challenges of character-driven work is figuring out the central character, the point of view from which to write the story.
“You start a story and then you think it’s one person’s story, and it really turns out that person is not as interesting as somebody else,” she said. “So I have to go back and rewrite it.”
The class will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 15 at the Mancos Makers Space. The workshop costs $75 per person.
Taylor hopes that people will come away feeling inspired to keep writing. “We need imagination today more than ever,” she said.
For more information, visit the Mancos School of the West website.