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

March 27 @ 6:00 pm - April 3 @ 8:00 pm

“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.


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