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Q&A with class instructor Patricia Park

We are excited for this Saturday’s free writing class at the Maspeth branch of Queens Library, which will be taught by Re Jane author Patricia Park. The class, called “Show versus Tell,” will start at 2:30 and will expand upon that old writing adage, “Show, don’t tell.”

How does a writer convey information to the reader, advance the plot, build drama, and show character development without writing a thousand-page opus? At the same time, how do you highlight key moments in your characters’ lives concisely without risking summary as dramatic as an encyclopedia entry? The most successful fiction and creative nonfiction writers blend both the “show” and “tell.” In this session, we will study successful examples (from Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Jhumpa Lahiri, and others) and discuss the pros and pitfalls of dramatizing versus summarizing scenes. Writers will leave with strategies and exercises to apply to their own work.

Patricia was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself, her work, and the class:

What’s your connection to Queens?

I was born and raised in Flushing.

What can students in your class expect?

Students will come away with a deeper understanding of pacing and structure of novels and stories.

Tell us about your latest publication.

Last year I published my first novel, Re Jane. It’s about a Korean-American orphan named Jane Re, and it’s loosely based on Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. The novel is my ode to Queens—in all its outer-borough, working-class glory. It’s currently being developed for a TV series.

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