Description of Class
The most powerful short stories and novels are built on a foundation of great scenes. Scenes convey the fears and desires of characters in tense, funny, wonderful real-time action — so why are they so difficult to write?
In this class, we’ll explore the 3 P’s of great scenes (person, place, and problem) and discuss how to get in and out of a scene efficiently. We’ll discuss the differences between scenes, exposition, and “habitual time”, and why rooting our most emotional moments in scenes can provide powerful, poignant experiences in fiction.
This will be a fiction discussion and workshop in which students will work in class on how to construct and “scene-ify” their stories more effectively. We’ll examine classic scenes from short stories and novel excerpts, including work from Denis Johnson, ZZ Packer, Graham Greene, Joshua Ferris, and others.
Students are encouraged to bring a 1-2 page piece of exposition from a work in progress to practice converting into a scene. You’ll leave the class with a new scene drafted, and strategies for building powerful, dramatic and contained scenes into your fiction.Top