Chutes and Ladders: Four Pitfalls (and Solutions!) for Writing Prose

with
Rebecca Makkai
We’ll discuss four common pitfalls of early fiction drafts, and how to avoid them -- or, if necessary, to rescue yourself from the depths.
This is a single-session event.
This event has
four
sessions.
Rebecca Makkai

Upcoming dates

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Past dates

Tuesdays
Dec 1 - Dec 22
Dec 1 - Dec 22
5pm PT / 8pm ET
90 min
Mondays
Feb 1 - Feb 22
Feb 1 - Feb 22
5pm PT / 8pm ET
90 min

Description

Most obstacles to writing are not psychological (writers’ block is a myth!) but structural. In narrative fiction, it's plot -- cause and effect, development, change, suspense -- that propels us forward. And yet these things don’t happen by accident. There are common missteps that will tank a story or novel in its earliest pages, and there are architectural solutions that will get us out of those traps.

 

This workshop is designed to help participants write an original short story or the first chapter of a novel. Participants will work on their projects outside of the workshop sessions. In each session, Rebecca will teach a different aspect of writing craft. (In our four sessions, we’ll focus on story arc, scene shape, momentum, and stakes.) Some participants might share relevant parts of their projects during these sessions to get feedback from Rebecca and the group, but these sessions will primarily focus on Rebecca’s craft lessons.

After the fourth session, participants will submit their projects (no more than 12 pages) to Rebecca, and she will provide feedback to each person in the form of a marked-up manuscript and a brief feedback letter. Written feedback from Rebecca is contingent on the writing sample you submit being coherent. You don’t need to be an experienced (or published!) writer by any means, nor do you need to have perfect command of all aspects of English grammar, but your writing should be comprehensible.

Code of Conduct 

We look forward to building an inclusive, supportive community of writers during our workshop and will not tolerate racist, sexist, or homophobic views. By signing up for this workshop, you’re agreeing to uphold these norms. Though we don’t expect this to happen, if someone violates these norms, they will be removed from the workshop without a refund.

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