Featured offerings: This fall, the Loft presents Vigilance. Visit our Vigilance page to learn more and plan your participation.

Danger, Desire, Mystery, Disappointment: Coaxing Forces of the Short Story

Date: 9/20/17 – 10/25/17

Location: Open Book-Loft Classroom

Day of the Week: Wednesday

Time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Ages: Adult

Class Level: Intermediate

Genre: Fiction

• Regular: $210.00
• Member: $189.00
• Low-Income: $147.00

Two common criticisms tossed around in workshops: "I don't know what's at stake," and, "I don't know what this character wants." In this class, we'll explore plot conventions, innovations, and readerly urgency. We'll workshop and read stories by ZZ Packer, George Saunders, Ottessa Moshfegh, and more.

In Janet Burroway's seminal craft book, Writing Fiction, she says "plot involves a desire and a danger to achieving that desire." But is that true of all stories? If not, how do we keep readers interested—no, deeply invested—to the last page?

We will explore danger, desire, mystery, disappointment, trouble, and requests as plot techniques, and we'll also explore some other innovative ways that shirk convention but nevertheless entice, surprise and delight. In this workshop-style class, we will explore how to identify the weak spots of your story-in-progress, we'll craft new stories, do lots of exercises, tinker with voice and point of view, and we'll seek the "white hot center"—as Robert Olen Butler calls it—of your short story, all with the intention of finding your story's organic shape and driving force.

$5 Copy Fee.