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Posted by on May 29, 2017 in 2017 Conference, Faculty |

Faculty Spotlight: Brandilyn Collins

Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling author of nearly 30 books. She is best known for her Seatbelt Suspense®–fast-paced, character-driven suspense with myriad twists and an interwoven thread of faith. She also writes insightful contemporary novels, often laced with humor.



  • The Four Ds of Story: The Four Ds–Desire, Distancing, Denial, and Devastation–form the story structure foundation for your novel. We’ll talk about each one, focusing primarily on Desire. What does your character want? Do you really know the answer? (Many novelists think they do—until their story starts to sag.) You need to understand the concept of Desire fully, or your story structure will be weak. Because what your character wants—what deep down drives his actions and reactions, his thoughts and dreams—will catapult him through your story and lead to the other three Ds.
  • Coloring Passions (Human Emotions): Human emotions (or passions) are interconnected and multi-layered, building upon each other. No passion is all one thing. It encompasses many “colors,” often bringing in other emotions. These passions force action, which in turn produce more emotion. Novelists need to understand human passions and the way they act upon each other. All too often, authors don’t go far enough in this area. The result is a shallow novel. A story that fails to move the reader. I want you to leave this hour understanding more about emotion than you ever have before.
  • Restraint and Control (Two-hour workshop): Once the big picture issues are in place, such as story structure and characterization, it comes down to writing individual sentences. How do we write so the reader doesn’t just read the story, but feels it. In the first hour we’ll look at the techniques of vividness—using the least words possible for the most meaning-rich writing—and sentence rhythm. These techniques can absolutely change your writing. In the second hour I will edit the opening pages of anonymously submitted manuscripts in class, showing how to put these techniques to use.