In these six classes, we will explore structures and skills that support and enhance the fiction writer’s art. We will consider concepts and craft-based techniques for advancing writing.
Each week is an individual craft talk followed by a question and answer period, so register for as many weeks as you wish, per your interest.
September 27 / Beginnings. This class will consider beginnings of all kinds, including getting started, how to summon ideas, considerations for structuring work and work time, openings, and first lines.
October 4 / Character. This class will examine the crucial component of character, including how to make people breathe on the page, writing who you know, and CPR for flat characters.
October 11 / Plot. This class will examine plot, the driver of the story, including how to plot, story arcs, chunking into scenes, the catalyst of conflict, and the heroine’s journey.
October 18 / Setting. This class will look at place and description, including how to use a house, creating a believable world, enhancing a sense of place, and regional writing.
October 25 / Dialogue. This class will consider components of dialogue, including how not to have a conversation, the purpose of small talk, and killing your filler.
November 1 / Finishing. This class will discuss the important skill of finishing what you start, including how to write a killer ending, revisions, workshopping and feedback, editing, and getting published.
Claire McMillan is the author of the novels The Necklace and Gilded Age, both from Simon and Schuster. She practiced corporate law in San Francisco before earning an MFA in creative writing from Bennington College. She served as Cuyahoga County Public Library's Writer in Residence in 2017-2018.