MFA, author of the novels Zero to the Bone, Digging James Dean, and Burning Garbo (Simon & Schuster); Killing Paparazzi (St. Martin’s); and Gypsy Hearts and Shooting Elvis (Grove Atlantic). Mr. Eversz’s novels have been translated into 15 languages. He has been the finalist judge for the AWP Award Series in the Novel, and co-founded the Prague Summer Program for writers at Western Michigan University.
Novels in progress do not fail from lack of inspiration or heart; most often the writer knows what she wants to write about but lacks the necessary skills to structure scenes, chapters, and sequences into an overarching narrative. My objective, as a teacher who specializes in the novel, is to help the writers I work with develop a structure to fit the needs of their story.
I often look to traditional three-act film structure and character-driven narratives as a way to address the more complex requirements of structuring a novel. The filmmaker Billy Wilder once wrote that there are no third act problems, only first act problems. The same holds true with the novel. Mistakes compound themselves as a narrative progresses, but then, so does achievement. If a writer can compose 50 pages of well-structured story rich with dramatic implications, the narrative will find its own trajectory, and you, the writer, must simply follow it.
Our Students Say it Best!
“Robert is a superb, gifted instructor. He gives each student enormous feedback and help. He is passionate about teaching and mentoring and offers encouragement and support every step of the way. His communication skills were outstanding.” —Writers’ Program student
“[Robert] is extremely knowledgeable and his feedback was invaluable. His communication was thoughtful, detailed and directed at my specific needs, which helped my skills improve dramatically. The experience was excellent, and I’m glad that I was able to study under Robert Eversz.” —Writers’ Program student