A 4-week beginner-friendly class in powerful plot for fiction that stays true to character.
Your Instructor: Joshua Mohr (author of Damascus)
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
In this directed and beginner-friendly 4-week fiction workshop, best-selling novelist Joshua Mohr will break down the varying ways writers can construct an exciting series of events to glue the reader's attention to the page. Each weekly session will begin with written and video lectures. Students will also have writing assignments to practice and demonstrate these various tactics for plotting, and will read and comment on the work of their peers as well as benefiting from multiple critiques.
What This Class Covers
Week 1: How to start in the middle of the action
We'll focus on kicking our stories off in compelling ways. Students will try to employ the "in medias res" philosophy, starting in the middle of the action. Mainly, this first week will deal with tactics to generate narrative conflict, both internal and external, and how to put pressure on our characters to tell the readers about themselves.
Week 2: Effective ways to dangle bait for your reader
How do we seduce our reader into generously giving us a few hours of her time to read our books? This week we'll cover many notions on how to entice that total stranger to commit to your stories. We'll talk about ways to use images and language in tandem, and we'll build on what we've already learned about narrative conflict to start building on our skill-set. Finding a nuanced image is one of the hardest thing we do as authors, yet there are ways to demystify this conundrum.
Week 3: Creating characters who characterize themselves
One mistake that apprentice writers often make is to over-explain why their characters are behaving in certain ways. This week, we'll learn a variety of active, dynamic characterization tactics: letting the characters characterize themselves. The reader needs to observe our players going about their daily life, giving the reader the space to form her own opinions about what makes a certain protagonist tick. We'll arm you with various ways to foster this relationship between reader and main character.
Week 4: How to write compelling dialogue
We'll wrap up our month together dealing with one of the most common complaints I hear from my graduate students: how do I write compelling dialogue? Mainly, how can I make my characters sound unique from one another on the page? We will do a series of short writing exercises to identify diction and syntax that will individualize your players. We'll also discuss how to use body language and gesturing to your advantage.
Goals Of This Class
- Learn to rely on scene to convey the essence of your characters.
- Develop ways to dynamically engage your audience, to involve them in the action as it unfurls on the page.
- Come away with a strong sense of how to tickle your reader's voyeuristic streak, letting them peek into the status-quo of your character(s).
- Explore the collision between plot and characterization, how these two seemingly different pieces of craft have to work as one to really rev your story up to maximum velocity.
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.