Where do you start? Where are you going? How do you get there? Answer those questions in this four-week workshop with author Nick Mamatas.
Your Instructor: Nick Mamatas, author of LOVE IS THE LAW and I AM PROVIDENCE
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: June 1, 2021 - June 29, 2021
Enrollment: 16 students
Where does your story start?
How on Earth do you keep it going?
What’s the difference between ending a story and just stopping it?
Regardless of genre, length, or form, every story has a beginning, middle, and an ending—in no particular order. Beginning writers often start their stories in the wrong place, confuse action with plot, and then end a scene a bit too early… or too late.
In four weeks, award-winning novelist, anthologist, and editor Nick Mamatas will guide you up and down the path of storytelling—through the architecture of fiction. Nick acquires novels and short fiction, and knows what agents and editors are looking for in today’s marketplace. His work is acclaimed by critics, and praise from outfits like Publishers Weekly and Booklist prove he knows how to keep a reader engaged.
This workshop will give you the tools you need to move through a story with confidence—whether it's a novel, novella, or short story.
No more getting lost.
What This Class Covers
Week 1 Lecture: Where Do I Begin?
- Starting the story as close to the end as possible.
- Watch out for the “hook”—and how to keep good advice from turning bad.
- Selecting the correct point of view.
Week 2 Lecture: Fail Better
- Conflict, jeopardy, and revelation—the keys to plot.
- Starting with effects, ending with causes.
- The ol’ try-fail try-succeed routine.
Week 3 Lecture: Unknotting
- “Wrapping up loose ends” vs “Un-knotting”—what is a denouement?
- Writing with a ragged edge.
- Writing a story worth re-reading.
Week 4: All Together Now!
- Ken Rand’s ten-percent solution.
- Synopsizing and summarizing.
- What do publishers want?
Each week of the class will include a homework assignment to demonstrate the skills you learn—and it'll be critiqued by both Nick and your fellow classmates. There will also be ample opportunities to pose questions to Nick, engage in discussions, and explore topics related to the class, and to writing.
Goals Of This Class
- Leave with a deeper understanding of story structure—an understanding that demystifies it for you, while leaving it mysterious for your readers.
- Develop an understanding of what editors and agents look for in the first chapter, or on the first page, of a submitted manuscript, and what makes them reject stories right away.
- Understand how to synopsize a novel for submission.
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.