Learn to craft compelling short fiction to a publishable standard in this beginner-friendly, four-week class.
Your Instructor: Jon Gingerich
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here
Enrollment: 16 Student Capacity
Working on a story?
Got an idea you've been kicking around forever, and it won’t seem to take shape?
Always wanted to break into writing but don’t know where to begin?
Consider this class a boot camp for the short story writer.
In four weeks, Jon Gingerich, author of some of LitReactor's most popular columns on craft, and an accomplished writer of short stories, will teach you how to write compelling, original short fiction (with skills applicable to longer works of fiction, too).
The class offers a "sleeves-up" approach that places an emphasis on technique, craft, and an intimate, multi-tiered revision process with the instructor. It respects your voice and vision, while prepping it for publication.
Complete with weekly lectures to help students develop their storytelling skills, this class is perfect for beginning to intermediate fiction writers ready to practice and master all the basics of craft in a supportive yet critical environment.
What This Class Covers
Week 1 - Lecture: What is a story?
- Breaking the grid: why all stories engage in ‘pattern breaking’ behaviors.
- Expecting the unexpected: Why stories should always move in ways that are unexpected, yet inevitable.
- The “changing character”: why a compelling character is always an individual who confuses reader judgment, and never a “type.”
- The character-driven story: Why a story should always lead with character, and should never be a “shoe-in” for the plot.
Week 2 - An issue of Perspectives (part 1): Different Voices, different points of view.
- How to devise a unique and compelling “voice” that benefits your story and characters.
- Narrative scope: “the narrator as camera lens,” understanding “close,” “medium,” and “far,” narration strategies.
- A breakdown of the different narrative points-of-view with a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Week 3 - An issue of Perspectives (part 2): Unique voices, unique dialogue.
- How to use dialogue effectively and judiciously in storytelling; how to craft dialogue that’s authentic, compelling and germane to character.
- Crafting unique descriptions: the five characteristics all descriptions must have. The careful art of “showing, not telling.”
Week 4 - Writing for the outside. The art of the rewrite.
- How to craft powerful sentences and fine-tune your writing.
- Why “vision” is always the operative word in revision.
- The pitfalls of publishing.
- How to write an effective query letter for your short story.
Goals Of This Class
- Come out equipped with an armory of narrative devices to craft better stories, so your fiction shines with compelling characters, authentic dialogue and a mastery of narrative authority.
- Understand, distil, and draw upon the best storytelling techniques revealed in select historical and contemporary models of compelling short fiction.
- Raise your own work to a publishable standard, while preserving the initial spark of originality and vision.
- Make the most of an in-depth critique report, your returned manuscript with line edits, and one-on-one follow-up consultations with the instructor.
LitReactor offers a unique approach to a writing education: You study what you want, when you want, at your own pace. We bring in veteran authors and industry professionals to host classes covering a wide range of topics in an online environment that’s interactive and flexible. You get detailed feedback on your work and take part in discussions in a judgement-free zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, our workshops are about working together to achieve your writing goals.
Where do classes take place?
Entirely online. So, anywhere you have Internet access.
Are there certain times when the whole class needs to "meet" online?
Nope. Our students come from all over the globe. Everything is posted online and accessible 24/7. (We do occasionally schedule phone chats, but try to reach a consensus on timing.)
What does a typical class consist of?
It varies, but nearly all our classes include weekly lectures, homework assignments, peer reviews, critiques from instructors, and discussion forums.
How much experience do you need to take a class?
Beginner or pro, everyone is welcome. We encourage all skill levels.
Got more questions? Click here for an extended FAQ.
And click here to explore a sample class that shows our layout and features.