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 Gamut Magazine
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here
Enrollment: 20 students
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
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.