Womens Fiction Writers Association
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Raising the Stakes Workshop by Margaret Dilloway
Sunday, August 11, 2019 to Saturday, August 17, 2019
Category: Workshops/Webinars

Raising the Stakes: A Holistic Approach

by Margaret Dilloway


 August 11 - 17, 2019


Part I: The Bones

Even pantsers need to figure out a plan sometimes. First we’ll talk about the different types of stakes so you can figure out what kind your story’s using. Then we’ll get into outlining, figuring out whether your story concept is big enough, whether your character’s stakes are great enough, and where to go from the beginning.


Part II: The Start of All Things

Set the stage for a great story and the stakes in your first scene. What should that all-important first chapter include? How much should you reveal about the stakes? What else needs to happen in the first act? What should you avoid? Should you include a prologue?


Part III: No Soggy Middles and a Bang-Up Ending

The middle of the book tends to be the soggiest as stakes get muddled or watered-down. We talk about how to make your middle as exciting as the rest of the book by tweaking the stakes. We also talk about how to ramp up to the climax and writing a satisfying ending.



Margaret Dilloway

Margaret Dilloway will be giving a three-part workshop on how to raise the stakes in your writing. She will give a prerecorded video presentation, followed by a written assignment. Randomly chosen homework will then be used as an example on successful implementation of the lesson and another on what fell short and how to fix it.

Margaret Dilloway is a women's fiction and middle grade author of multicultural and less fortunate characters and subjects. Her publications include How to Be an American Housewife, The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, Sisters of Heart and Snow, Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters, Momotaro: Xander and the Dream Thief, Summer of a Thousand Pies, and Tale of the Warrior Geisha.



Registration July 21-31, 2019. Nonrefundable $10.00 fee. Open to members. If you are unable to register during the open dates, please send an email to [email protected]l.com. No late registrations are accepted.


Video lessons will be posted on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and remain available until the forum closes. The videos are non-interactive lecture/Power Point slides and can be paused and rewound as desired. Homework assignments follow each lesson and should be posted the next day. A small number of homework assignments will be randomly selected for critique by the instructor and will be posted when completed. Plan several hours to complete the homework in a way that you are pleased with your work, feel sure about posting it, and eager to receive feedback. Allow at least a couple of hours a day to contribute to the forum by offering constructive feedback. You may also want time to engage with supporters who have commented on your work and begin a volley of ideas. 

Peer participation is not required for this workshop, however if you receive feedback from a fellow writer, it would be nice if you reciprocated. Each participant may interact at their comfort level. For this workshop, participants are unlimited and therefore it would be fine if you would like to participate by auditing and to learn through observing. To make the most out of the workshop, we recommend being ready to participate when the forum is full of activity.

Please keep in mind that WFWA workshops include members from around the globe and so time zones will vary greatly.

All materials for this workshop will be accessible only to those who have registered. The forum will remain active for 30 days. 

Please make certain you have the time to participate in this workshop. WFWA has the right to decline future workshop registration if there is a pattern of inconducive conduct. Please email [email protected] to unregister for the workshop or to report questionable behavior.