Elements of Writing: Plot: The Four-Letter Word that Strikes Fear into the Heart of Most Writers (1823)

Two Tuesdays: March 27, April 3, 6 to 8 p.m. 

$85 (10% off for members)

“Plot” can be one of the most slippery and angst-inducing idioms for writers of prose: fiction, popular fiction, and even non-fiction. In this class, we’ll learn some tricks of plotting from published writers, classic authors like Thomas Hardy, E. M. Forster, or L. Frank Baum, and contemporaries like Gonzalo Barr, Alison Bechdel, and Lorrie Moore. We’ll nail down exactly what we mean by this oft-used yet little-understood term, considering the differences between “plot,” “story,” and “action.” Once we’ve reached some conclusions about what exactly we mean when we talk about plot, we’ll then analyze how plot organizes narrative in any type of writing. Finally, we’ll turn from literary analysis to exercises to examine how plot is functioning in students’ current writing projects.

*Classes in our “Elements of Writing” series do not need to be taken in conjunction – they are stand-alone writing classes intended for customers to work on specific building blocks of their writing while getting to know some of our writing instructors.

Recommended Reading: 
The Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy
“Braulio Gets His Car Back,” Gonzalo Barr (from the story collection The Last Flight of Jose Luis 
“Terrific Mother,” Lorrie Moore (from the story collection Birds of America)
The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
Aspects of the Novel, E. M. Forster 
Fun Home, Alison Bechdel 

Aaron Hamburger was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his short story collection The View from Stalin’s Head (Random House). His next book, a novel titled Faith for Beginners (Random House), was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Poets & Writers, Tin House, Subtropics, Details, Michigan Quarterly Review, Boulevard, and The Village Voice. He has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, as well as residencies from Yaddo and Djerassi. He has also taught writing at Columbia University, NYU, the Stonecoast MFA Program, and George Washington University.

REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can issue class refunds up until seven (7) days before the first class session.

SKU: Plot
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The Mayor of Casterbridge Cover Image
By Thomas Hardy, Keith Wilson (Editor), Keith Wilson (Introduction by), Keith Wilson (Notes by)
ISBN: 9780141439785
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Classics - April 29th, 2003

The Last Flight of Jose Luis Balboa Cover Image
By Francine Prose (Foreword by), Gonzalo Barr
ISBN: 9780618658862
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - September 14th, 2006

Birds of America: Stories (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307474964
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - January 12th, 2010

The Wizard of Oz (Puffin Classics) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780141321028
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Puffin Books - March 27th, 2008

ISBN: 9780156091800
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Mariner Books - September 14th, 1956

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618871711
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Mariner Books - June 5th, 2007