Master Classes

Master Class — “The Language of Story: Plot and Outlining Like Aristotle Never Taught”

Online via Zoom May 9, 2021 10:45 am - 2:00 pm

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Outlining is a contentious topic among authors. Some writers swear by the process; others maintain that outlining is the hallmark of amateurism, and that being able to face down the blank page with nothing but your raw talent and an unhealthy amount of self-loathing is the hallmark of the real artiste. This workshop will show you how both approaches can be one hundred percent right at the same time.

The Language of Story explores the underlying mechanics of how narrative works, and how writers can use those mechanics to our advantage as we drag our own stories kicking and screaming into the light. This is a workshop about outlining, but it’s designed for all writers — those who are already outliners, those who’ve tried outlining and hated it, and those who’ve been afraid to outline because they’ve bought into the idea that outlining isn’t real writing.

In a quick overview and a follow-up group exercise session, we’ll dig into an unorthodox approach to plotting that can make a huge difference in your ability to visualize, clarify, and focus your story. Even if you’ve already decided that outlining doesn’t suit your own style of storytelling, exploring the process of outlining as it relates to the language of story will sharpen your understanding of that language — the underlying mechanics that determine how plot, character, and conflict weave together to create compelling fiction.

Scott Fitzgerald Gray