Many writing workshops focus on writing beautifully polished first chapters, but often there isn’t time to cover the rest of the plot/structure of the novel. Critique groups that focus on individual chapters or scenes often also lose focus on the overall plot and structure of a narrative. It can be very difficult, especially for new writers, to get a sense of the overarching plot and storyline after creating their characters and a general idea of the story. As a result, many stories don’t get finished or don’t get sold.
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This workshop will cover the basics of structure and plot and the differences between “story,” “plot,” and “structure.” It will examine different strategies for outlining a novel, offering suggestions for both character-driven and plot-driven writers.
The specific topics covered will include: (a) traditional story structures and variations on these themes; (b) the relationship between the beginning and the ending; (c) avoiding a “saggy middle,”; (d) the pros and cons of alternating/ multiple points of view in terms of structure and story development; (e) the relationship between character and plot; (f) creating tight scenes as building blocks of structure.
Participants will be given reading and writing assignments relevant to each class, including extracts from novels and references to craft books: in particular, Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers.
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New Writing Fiction: Plot and Structure with Jacqueline Lipton
Learn the bones of plotting and structure for outlining your best story yet!