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

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Eastern

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


Additional Information

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 a 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.

All registrants receive a recording.

To request closed captioning, please email [email protected].

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Please Note

It is not uncommon for classes to fill up before the end of early registration, particularly in the last few days before the deadline. If you know for certain that you wish to take a particular class, we recommend registering early. If you'd like to be added to a waitlist for a sold-out class, please email our director of education, Sharla Yates, at [email protected].

Hear from our Students

Creative Nonfiction’s online writing classes have helped more than 3,000 writers tell their stories better.

Read Success Stories


I enjoyed reading other peoples work and getting feedback about my own work– the handouts/video links and class lessons were also very informative and relevantly paced to the give structural guidelines.

Catherine O’Neill