Mastering the Emotion-Driven Story with Eric Witchey | Mechanics' Institute

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Mastering the Emotion-Driven Story with Eric Witchey

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This is a class co-sponsored by MI and San Francisco Writers Conference/San Francisco Writers Foundation.

Emotion-driven Story is a high-energy seminar class that presents hands-on techniques for touching every reader’s heart. Every character in a story is driven by emotions that drive their actions, but not every writer manages the development of story to maximize the impact of that fact. Attendees will learn to use the powerful story and narrative development tool, ED ACE. Writers of all levels will walk away with a set of executable techniques that will influence the creation or revision of every story they write—long or short form.


  • The ED ACE dramatic cycle: Emotion drives Decision drives Action drives Conflict drives new Emotion.
  • Emotion (techniques for delivering character emotion in narrative)
  • Decision (techniques for managing character quandaries and decisions)
  • Action (techniques for manifesting decisions in dialog and activity)
  • Conflict (techniques for developing various types of conflict)
  • Emotion (techniques for contrasting new emotion against old emotion to trigger reader reaction).

Eric Witchey has made a living as a freelance writer for 28 years. In addition to nonfiction, he has sold a number of novels and more than 140 short stories. His stories have appeared in 12 genres and on five continents. He has received awards or recognition from New Century Writers, Writers of the Future, Writer’s Digest, The Eric Hoffer Prose Award Program, Short Story America, the Irish Aeon Awards, and other organizations. His How-to articles have appeared in The Writer Magazine, Writer’s Digest Magazine, and other print and online magazines.

For each class, we reserve the right to cancel at any time and issue a full refund. If you are unable to attend your class, please email at least ten days prior to receive a refund. All fees must be paid at the time of registration.


New awards bestowed on Eric Witchey's work:

New Fantasy Genre—the Afterlife Fantasy—Is Born

2018 IPPY Book Awards

Silver Medal – Fantasy Fiction

2018 International Book Awards

Winner – Visionary Fiction Finalist – Fantasy Fiction

Finalist – Cross-Genre Fiction & Best New Fiction

In her quest for respect, a young grim reaper consumed with pride ventures beyond the boundaries of human-based dogma to reveal the universal light of the human spirit underlying all faiths

Fantasy aficionados will be gratified to learn of the new fantasy subgenre called Afterlife Fantasy as exemplified in the award-winning novel by prolific author Eric Witchey.

The recipient of the Silver Medal in Fantasy from the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards, Littlest Death: A Labyrinth of Souls Novel introduces readers to the memorably flawed character called Littlest Death. Justifiably proud of herself, Littlest Death brings millions of souls at a time into the afterlife even though she’s only been a grim reaper for a thousand years.

True, the souls she brings back tend to be fungi, single-celled organisms, and the occasional rabbit or platypus, but the point is, other reapers—with one notable exception—only bring souls across one at a time. Is it any wonder Littlest Death chafes at the fact that she doesn’t receive the same respect as older reapers who guide human souls into the afterlife?

As the novel begins, Littlest Death’s “entitlement justification complex” compels her to learn the secret of bringing humans into the afterlife so she can garner the respect she knows she deserves. Unfortunately, explains Witchey, her pride and ambition lead her to take actions that undermine the balance of the universe. Before she can set things right, she must come to understand the interconnection of lives and the power she has to touch both the living and the dead.

Witchey comments, “This sometimes funny and sometimes heart-rending coming-of-age story could only be told from a perspective outside the confines of life. It’s a deceptively simple book about death and a funny, poignant celebration of life that explores the power of empathic service to humanity.”

“One of my favorite reads of the year. Witchey has given us a story that is both universal and intimately personal. I loved every minute of reading this book and was exceedingly sad when it ended and there wasn't another page to turn.” ~ Elizabeth Engstrom, Best-selling Author of Lizzie Borden and Candyland


Members $119
Public $139
Register now ›
4th Floor Meeting Room
Taryn Edwards - 415-393-0103
Register now by using the form below or calling 415-393-0101.

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