2021 Master Class: 5-Sense Psychology (Afternoon)


A workshop on character development with Joshua Mohr.

4 Afternoons:  Monday 11/8 – Thursday 11/11, 1:30-4:30pm

A $100 combination discount will be applied when registering for the conference at the same time.

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5-Sense Psychology

with Joshua Mohr

This seminar will examine how setting might be a useful frame of reference for rendering a character’s inner life, the heartbeats and brainwaves of our main players. For if we’re interested in plumbing the existential depths of our protagonists, perhaps our readers need to traverse the mind and metaphorical heart as a 360 degree location, the setting of the mind.

Camaraderie between reader and main character is vital if we’re to establish a lasting, poignant connection between them. But how do we go about building that? What if we render a character’s consciousness as though it’s a cogent ecosystem for the reader to inhabit?

During the course, students will be led through all five senses – touch, taste, sight, smell, hearing –learning how to translate these perceptions into opportunities to enhance thought process and psychic access on the page. Through in-class reading and writing prompts, students will practice each sense, cementing an understanding on how to bring these techniques straight into your work-in-progress, building dynamic inner lives for your characters, places for your reader to curl up and listen to the whispers of the heart.



JOSHUA MOHR is the author of five novels, including “Damascus,” which The New York Times called “Beat-poet cool.” He’s also written “Fight Song” and “Some Things that Meant the World to Me,” one of O Magazine’s Top 10 reads of 2009 and a San Francisco Chronicle best-seller, as well as “Termite Parade,” an Editors’ Choice in The New York Times. His novel “All This Life” won the Northern California Book Award. His first book of nonfiction, a memoir called “Sirens,” was recently published.