Posts Tagged ‘Shrinking Fiction’


KYSL SD23: Michael Thompkins (insert joke here)

January 30, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders ….

As I go through the list, I see we’re down to Michael Thompkins, and this is where it isn’t really fair. I could spend all day regaling you with stories of Michael’s wit and wisdom. Since he lives twenty minutes away (even less if our roads were reasonably planned) I get to see him on a regular basis. Meanwhile … oh, never mind.

(Sorry, I’ve got a really crappy song that I’ve neither heard nor thought of in ages stuck in my head, and it’s really distracting. I’ll blame Decker, not because he has anything to do with it, but because it’s fun to blame stuff on him.)

Okay … Mike is a retired psychologist, and the author of Gun Play, the first volume of the Shooting Shrink series, in which he calls upon his years of experience that include counseling local police departments to tell us the story of how a Palm Springs police shrink manages to get himself mixed up in the messy intrigues of murder, greed, and international hit-men suffering delusional psychoses. And he wants to teach you how to have that kind of fun while transforming the blank page into the a novel.

Shrinking Fiction: Using Psychology to Write Great Characters” is a two-part workshop in which you get to watch some entertaining television and movie clips, read from your own stories, and discuss, quite literally, thousands of years of traditional and academic knowledge and insight in relation to character development. This is always a popular workshop, and while no advance reservations are required, Mike suggests that those who want to get a head start should send him an email to request a syllabus.

It is also important to note that participants are not obliged to attend both sessions of Shrinking Fiction. Naturally, Mike thinks it helps to do so, but he recognizes that people’s needs and schedules aren’t always so accommodating, so he’s always working to make each part of the workshop accessible in its own right.



SD23: Shrinking Fiction syllabus available

January 7, 2009

Wow. We’re just a little over a month out from San Diego. And you know what that means. That’s right, it’s time for me to begin my unfortunate ritual of frantically trying to be useful to the conference. You’d think I would learn, but enough said about me.

Rather, let’s talk about Michael Thompkins. That’s right, our favorite psychologist turned mystery writer is back for San Diego with his latest installment of Shrinking Fiction, a popular workshop devoted to psychological distillation of character development.

Once again, Michael will explore ideas of somatic psychology and emotional anatomy, and how they might be incorporated into character development. Those familiar with past versions of the workshop might still find the updated examples and development of the presentation useful; quite obviously, there is no way to contain such broad considerations in a single weekend, so even if you’ve heard it before, you’ll want to hear it again.

(Disclaimer: Yes, it could be said I’m biased on that point, but still … I promise.)

Also, recognizing that conferee schedules and priorities can present challenges to attending a two-session event, Michael has reminded me that he intends to present this year in a manner that makes less essential to attend both days. In other words, don’t be discouraged if you can’t make one of the two workshops; he’d love to see you there, anyway, and hopes to approach the sessions so that you won’t feel lost having missed one or another.

Oh, yes … and after all that, here’s the important part. If you’re interested in attending one or both days of Shrinking Fiction, you’re welcome to email Michael ( in order to receive an advance copy of the syllabus.

And, well, that last was exactly what I was supposed to tell you, but hey, when did I ever get to the point straight away?

See you all in San Diego.