Make progress on your manuscript by focusing on aspects of plot and scene critical to good storytelling
Explore non-Western modes of storytelling that can enrich your work and innovate your structure
Engage in workshopping of your work in progress to give and receive comments with other writers
Create a plot grid that will allow you to map out your story and facilitate ongoing writing
About this course:
The second of a two-course sequence, this workshop expands on the development of story concept, worldbuilding, character, and plot explored in the first course. This second workshop focuses on critical but underemphasized aspects of compelling science fiction and fantasy novels, including plot structure and scenecraft. The workshop also interrogates accepted tropes and structures of science fiction and fantasy novels by exploring non-Western storytelling structures, including the East Asian four-act structure and nested or circular story structures from East Asia, South Asia, and the Muslim world. The workshop also includes a rigorous workshop within a workshop that teaches students how to create a plot grid that will map out their novel from the beat level all the way up to the act level, while tracking all plot threads for rhythm and pacing. Students will learn how to shape and manipulate that plot grid into a satisfying and deliberate act structure. The goal is to complete fifty polished pages of a novel and a work in progress version of the plot grid by the end of this two-course sequence.
WRITING X 416.1E Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel I or WRITING X 411.1 Novel I. Comparable workshop experience may be considered; please contact the Writers' Program for exception requests.
Enrollment limited to 15 students; early enrollment advised. Visitors not permitted. Internet access required. Materials required.
This course is held via video teleconference. Instructors use Zoom to offer live class meetings at the designated class meeting time. Students must be present at the course meeting time as each student’s final grade may include scores for participation.
Please inform your instructor if you will miss a class meeting. You are responsible for any class information you missed. We suggest you arrange with a fellow classmate to share their notes when feasible.
No refunds after January 31, 2023
Internet access required to retrieve course materials.