Author Danielle Evans teaches the art of interiority

  • Danielle Evans (center) reads a selection from a short story with Arts Academy creative writing students.

  • Evans during her master class with creative writing students.

On Nov. 7, the Creative Writing Division welcomed author Danielle Evans to The Writing House.

Evans, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University and author of the critically acclaimed short story collection “Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self,” presented an afternoon master class and evening reading during her time on campus. Evans also visited Interlochen Public Radio for an interview with the student editors of The Interlochen Review.

During the master class, Evans helped the young writers explore the concept of interiority, the technique by which writers reveal their characters’ inner world to their readers. “Interiority is there to remind you why a character is acting a particular way,” Evans said. “It’s the tension between the public and private self.”

Evans led the students through a series of readings to show how interiority can be utilized. In each instance, Evans encouraged the students to look for the disparity between what the narrator said to the reader and what they said to the other characters. She also provided an example of how interiority can be used in a second-person context.

“In this case, the character becomes their own audience,” she said. “It’s self-directed interiority: they can’t say the things they want to say to anyone but themself.”

The session concluded with a writing prompt: Evans invited each student to write a short, dialogue-based scene in which the narrator is persuaded to do something they don’t want to do, using interiority to reveal why the character agreed to perform the unwanted task.

After the master class, Evans spent time talking with students and signing copies of her book. Evans also gave an evening reading of her recent work, followed by a question-and-answer session with students and guests.