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Plot and structure are the "big picture" ingredients of fiction. A good plot can turn a novel into a page-turner. The right structure will make a story more resonant and compelling and amplify its themes.

"Creating a successful structure or plot for a story or a novel can be especially challenging for writers,” says instructor Elaine Beale. "But without a good grasp of these ingredients, many writers find themselves stuck."

This one-day workshop is designed for writers who want to better understand how to develop a coherent plot that engages the reader and a structure that brings a story to life. The class will cover key concepts such as story arc, causality, flashbacks, plot twists and revelations, as well as techniques for creating momentum, and how character development and plot are intertwined.

Drawing on examples from published novels and short stories, participants will look at how a writer’s choice of structure can create tension and heighten a story’s impact. The workshop will also include in-class exercises in which students try their hand at plotting, and brainstorm solutions for the plot or structural problems they may be encountering in the stories they’re working on now.

At the end of the day, participants will find themselves far better equipped to successfully integrate these "big picture" ingredients into their fiction.



No Instructor Specified

  1. Saturday, October 21, 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Elaine is an excellent, dynamic teacher and very organized with materials and communications. Her critiquing of our writing was extremely valuable. In addition to her considerable experience, she has a gift for it. . . . I wish she could always be my reader, and would definitely take another course taught by her and recommend her classes to others.

    Adele Mendelson
  • I am a big fan of Elaine's classes. She immediately puts the novice at ease and her enthusiastic love of the craft is contagious.

    Rick Kelley
  • Elaine knows her stuff, obviously, and articulates her insights in an inspiring style. She respects how challenging writing is and accentuates that by constantly providing positive support. She is warm, honest, and helpful for fledgling fiction writers!

    Karolina Garrett


Saturday, October 21, 2017
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm PDT
Event Category:


2121 Bonar St, Studio D, 2nd Fl
Berkeley, CA United States
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Cancellation Policy

10 days or more before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 10% fee OR a refund minus a 20% fee.

3-9 days before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 20% fee OR a refund minus a 30% fee.

2 days or less before the start date for a class, the registrant will not receive a credit or a refund.

The Writing Salon cannot offer refunds, credits, or makeup sessions for classes a student might miss.

In the event of an emergency, we may consider a refund or credit, whether partial or full. We review these requests on a case-by-case basis, and we ask that you notify us as near as possible to the start date for the class.

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