Please note that this is an online workshop conducted via Zoom. Participants will be provided information on how to join the online sessions.
If this workshop is full when you try to register, please sign up on the waiting list here so you receive priority registration the next time this class is offered.
MODES OF STORYTELLING
Sometimes the question isn’t what story you want to tell but how to best tell it. How can you tell a story in a way that grips a reader’s attention from the first sentence? A way that keeps them turning the page, keeps surprising them and keeps them wanting more? Great storytelling often comes down to knowing all the ways to tell different pieces of your story and when to use which one. In this course, we’ll dig deep into modes of storytelling: backstory, flashback, dialogue, description, narration and summary. We’ll explore how each mode works—which ones help you turn a story speedometer up, which ones help you slow it down—and how to write in each mode well. We’ll examine how great stories employ a strategic, constant blend of modes to write with energy, through close readings of published works by authors like ZZ Packer, Karen Russell, George Saunders, Lauren Groff, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum and Jennifer Egan. All participants will have one of their own short stories workshopped by the group, receiving feedback from the instructor and their fellow writers about their writing strengths and how to build on them. At the end of the course, you will have at least one full story draft, the beginnings of other new story ideas from in-class exercises, and a toolkit of storytelling fundamentals to support your writing moving forward. Note: While the content and published works used in this course will consist of fiction writing, these same storytelling fundamentals can apply to creative nonfiction work as well.