"I had a half a million words, but it wasn't a story." - Jean Auel

“I had a half a million words, but it wasn’t a story.” – Jean Auel

A story has to go somewhere, and even wonderfully creative writers might not know how to put a novel together. It’s as much craft and technique as it is passion. After teaching novel writing in the University of Houston Extension Program, Rice University School of Continuing Studies and in my own private Master Class, I’ve assembled the absolutely essential ingredients for crafting a novel. Your organization can schedule two-day, full-day, half-day or one-hour presentations from the following material by contacting me directly.



The Seasons of Life Writers Workshop/Retreat on Dickinson Bayou

Saturday, November 2, 2013, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Twelve women will spend a day together relaxing into the work of writing as they hone their skills and enjoy this beautiful location. From “Getting the Words Out” to “Getting the Words Right,” both novice and seasoned writers will take home new ideas and techniques to enhance their work. Produced by Journalist Sue Mayfield Geiger and led by Novelist/Ghostwriter Chris Rogers. Read more.


The following examples are Seminars, Workshops and Classes available for your group.
Chris Rogers designs every event to fit the audience.


Novel Writing Workshop

This class takes you quickly through the basics of novel structure, so that you can concentrate on creating an intriguing plot, wonderful characters and page-turning suspense.

Topics include:

  • The 12-Step Story Plan
  • Dramatic & Reflective Structure
  • Plot, Point of View & Characterization
  • Suspense, Tension & Conflict
  • Subplot & Pacing
  • Emotional Connections

This class can be scheduled in your area in a one- or two-day seminar format.


Writing Mystery and Suspense Stories

Telling a story of mystery or suspense requires not only the basics of good writing, but also the ability to keep the reader guessing at what will happen next. In a fast-paced, hands-on format, this workshop teaches techniques designed to keep the reader turning pages, from “doing the crime” to “handling clues and red herrings.” Writer Chris Rogers will examine such bestsellers as Misery, Silence of the Lambs, and Murder on the Orient Express to show how to manipulate plot, subplot, time, and the multiple viewpoints necessary for telling complicated mystery and suspense stories.

Topics include:

  • Crime Fiction: Structure and Tools
  • Story Core: The Hero-Victim-Villain Triad
  • Doing the Crime: The Beginning of Plot
  • Conflict, Disaster, and Plot Development
  • Suspense and Tension in Plot Development
  • Story Devices: Transition, Foreshadow, and Clues

This class can also be scheduled in your area in a one- or two-day seminar format.


One-Hour Presentations

  • A 12-Step Story Plan: Start with Good Structure, then Relax and Unfold Your Story
  • Building Blocks of Fiction: Using Drama, Reflection & Transition
  • Plot in a Nutshell: Capture Your Story in 10 Quick Steps
  • Single Line of Action: Define the Story Spine for Tight Plotting
  • Character Profiling: Create Unforgettable Story People
  • E-Quotient: How Words Affect the Reader
  • Action & Pacing: Move Your Characters, Move Your Plot
  • The Art of Suspense: Managing the Tension Cord
  • Dramatizing Conflict: Invoke Tension on Every Page
  • Chain of Conflict: Connect the Links to Keep a Reader Hooked
  • Seductive Writing: The First 500 Words of a Great Book
  • A Variety of Voices: Devise a Voice Profile for Each Character
  • “Say What?”: 9 Common Dialogue Mistakes and How to Fix Them


For more information, be sure to contact Chris.