Heartbeats // Webinar

Using a scene’s emotional rhythm to build momentum and captivate readers and agents

Heartbeats // Webinar

You’ve just received the most frustrating feedback any writer can hear: something’s missing, but I can’t put my finger on it.

Or worse, your critique partner asks in that super-nice-writer way for you to share the point of the scene you worked tirelessly to create. Or, maybe you’ve been told a scene makes sense, but the story doesn’t pop. What if your gut knows a scene belongs but your reader doesn’t understand why? Often, the problem you’re facing is a missed or misunderstood emotional beat.

Emotional beats are the stepping-stones along what Dinty Moore calls the “magnetic river” of your story. Over the course of your book, they drive the plot forward and reveal character. Harness the power of your emotional rhythm and you’ll captivate your reader. Miss the beat, or fail to capitalize on these powerful moments, and readers are more likely to close your book. 

During this sixty-minute webinar, you’ll learn how to find the emotional beats in your story and uncover what’s really happening in them. Then, we’ll examine specific techniques that make pivotal scenes so memorable in published memoirs and essays.

In this webinar, you will:

  • LEARN how to identify the emotional beats within your scenes
  • DISCOVER their role in your story
  • DEVELOP techniques for capitalizing on these dramatic moments

There will be time for Q & A at the end of the presentation. 

This webinar is ideal for beginning writers who are learning how to write scenes; mid-stage writers who are looking to take good writing and make it great; and seasoned writers looking to tighten their project’s emotional arc before submitting work for publication.


Wednesday, February 24th, 2021

2 pm - 3 pm Eastern Time

Advance registration required.
Space is limited.

To request closed-captioning, email Lloyd@creativenonfiction.org.

$15 if registered by 2/14/2021
$25 if registered after 2/14/2021

Registration will close 24 hours before the event.

A recording of the webinar will be sent out to all registrants three business days after the event.

PLEASE NOTE: It may take a little while for us to process your order and send you the link to the webinar. If you haven't received the link by the morning of the date of the webinar, please email us at information@creativenonfiction.org.


About the instructor: Lisa Ellison is an editor, writing coach, and speaker with an Ed.S in clinical mental health counseling and a background in mindfulness. She has spent the last two decades helping clients and students turn difficult experiences into art and currently teaches courses in memoir, creative nonfiction, and mindful writing practices. Her life story and essays have appeared on NPR’s With Good Reason and in Hippocampus Magazine, Kenyon Review Online, the Huffington Post, and the Guardian, among others.


Questions? Please call us at 412-404-2975 or email the director of education, Sharla Yates, at yates@creativenonfiction.org.