Short Story Mechanics with Richard Thomas

In two weeks, Richard Thomas will help you nail the mechanics of the short story. Perfect if you're a beginner, but anyone who wants to do some serious, fast-and-furious writing is welcome.

Your Instructor: Richard Thomas, editor-in-chief of Dark House Press

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here

Enrollment: 20 students

Price: $199

Class Description

Do you struggle with the basic elements of the short story? And are you ready to write your ass off? 

Welcome to Short Story Mechanics with Richard Thomas

Here's how this class will work: 

On the first day you'll get a lecture and an assignment. Then two days later, you'll get another lecture, and another assignment, building off the first. This will happen every other day for two weeks. You'll cover the most basic tenets of building a successful short story: From looking at the big picture, to building tension, to finding your setting.

And you'll create a piece of writing that you'll hammer and refine at the end of each day. 

The ultimate goal is to produce a flash fiction piece—no more than 4,000 words—by the end of the class. On the final day you'll turn your story in to Richard, and he'll get a critique back to you within a week... along with some suggestions on markets where you could send it. 

This is a fast and furious breakdown of short story structure, aimed at getting you working, getting you writing, and pushing you toward the goal of publication. You're going to work hard—but in the end, it's going to be worth it. These tools will last you the lifetime of your writing career. 

This class is perfect if you're a beginner, but anyone who wants to do some serious writing is welcome to join.

What This Class Covers

Day One: Big Picture and Voice

Lecture on Freytag's Triangle/Pyramid. Questions on what is your strongest/weakest aspect. Short assignment based on the answer. 

Day Three: Narrative Hooks 

A lecture on the narrative hooks of acclaimed author Ron Rash, and what makes a good hook in general. Assignment to write hooks, some short, one sentence, some longer, entire paragraph. 

Day Five: Tension

Further discussion on inciting incidents, starting your story "in media res" and how to get your character moving. Short assignment. 

Day Eight: Theme and Mood 

Stepping back from the structure for a second to lecture on the feelings and emotions of your story, and what you should be establishing. Assignment given. 

Day Ten: Conflict

Lecture on how to build on your conflict, which should have been established with your hook, inciting incident, and theme/mood. Assignment given. 

Day Twelve: Setting 

Stepping back to think about the setting. Taking into account logistics, weather, season, locations, neighborhoods, cities, etc. Assignment given. 

Day Fourteen: Resolution

Lecture on how the story will eventually resolve itself, the epiphany, or change, and how the ending should leave the reader feeling something. Assignment will be finished, and turned in for a final critique.

Goals Of This Class

  • Master the mechanics of the short story
  • Learn how to internalize and utilize those skills in the future
  • Produce a short story, no more than 4,000 words
  • Get solid suggestions on where to send it
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