“Over the years, I've learned that plot is one of the most mysterious elements of the art of fiction,” says instructor Nina Schuyler. “Some writers think a plot is written by formula. Not true! Plot rises out of your characters and your ideas, and this class will offer techniques for designing the story you want to tell.”
There are many ways to approach structuring a story, but this class focuses on how one event causes the next, which results in a process of change for your characters. We will read short stories by Gina Berriault, Jamel Brinkley and Weike Wang, discussing how the elements of plot create tension, propulsion, and opportunities for character development. We will look at the role of the unexpected event, the effects of creating obstacles for characters, and the ways a character’s choices determine a story’s direction.
You will do in-class writing exercises to practice what you’re learning about plotting, and you’ll receive generative prompts to spark writing at home and keep the drafting process rolling. “By the end of this class,” says Nina, “my goal is that you’ll have a much firmer grasp on plot and the beginning of a story draft or outline.”
About The Writing Salon's In-Person Classes
In-person class schedules are subject to sudden change or cancellation due to Covid. We will communicate any course changes to you as quickly as possible. Masking, social distancing, and other Covid measures will be enforced in accordance with local guidelines. Before your class meets, you'll receive an email from The Writing Salon with more information about your class. If you have any questions about in-person learning, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nina Schuyler’s novel, Afterword, was published in May 2023 by Clash Books and was named a top book by Alta Journal and Bay City News and a June pick by Towne Center Books. Her short story collection, In This Ravishing World, won The Prism Prize for Climate Literature and the W.S. Porter Prize and will be published in July 2024. Her novel, The Translator, won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for General Fiction and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Writing Prize. Her nonfiction book, How to Write Stunning Sentences, is a Small Press Distribution bestseller.
- Sunday, February 25, 2:00pm-4:30pm
- Sunday, March 03, 2:00pm-4:30pm
- Sunday, March 10, 2:00pm-4:30pm
I enjoyed the directly imparted knowledge and wisdom from Nina about plot and structure, combined with writing and reading in-class and at home, and live feedback. She brought theory and practice and a warm and motivational environment.