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“Pacing the Plot of Your Novel or Short Story” with John Pipkin

April 25, 2020 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM CDT

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This class is part of the “Strengthen Your Narrative Punch” Class Package and will not be available for individual purchase until January 30. To purchase the discounted class package, click here.

Does your story move too fast or too slow–or sometimes both at different times?

Writers often make the mistake of assuming that the only way to improve the pace of a story is to make as much stuff happen as quickly as possible. But a well-paced story is one in which the narrative unfolds at the speed and rhythm that the characters, scenes, and themes require. And pacing is determined not just by what happens but by the mechanics of how the story is being told, sentence by sentence. Sometimes, decisions as simple as word choice can have a profound effect on the pace of a story.

In this class, participants will examine the characteristics of successful pacing and study some basic strategies for helping their story develop at the rhythm that feels well-suited to the plot.The class will also identify some of the sign-posts that can indicate pacing problems in a story and how to handle these issues in the revision stage.

TAKE THIS CLASS IF

  • You’re writing a novel or short stories.
  • You want to ratchet up tension without adding in countless cliffhangers.
  • You want the high points of your plot to really wallop the reader.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS CLASS

  • “The class was very detailed, and provided an enormous amount of useful information for writing, particularly revision.”
  • “I’ve never heard pacing discussed in quite this way, and the content was excellent.”
  • “Anything he teaches is worthwhile.”

Instructor

John Pipkin is the Director of the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program at the University of Texas-Austin and also teaches in the low-residency MFA Program at Spalding University. Originally from Baltimore, he holds a Ph.D. in 19th-century British Literature and is the author of the critically-acclaimed novels: Woodsburner (Nan A Talese/Doubleday 2009) which won the New York Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter (Bloomsbury 2016). He has received fellowships to MacDowell, Yaddo, Dobie-Paisano, and the Gullkistan Center for Creativity in Iceland. He is also the recipient of the 2021 Harry Ransom Award for Excellence in Teaching at UT-Austin.

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it. If you prefer this option, please email wlt@writersleague.org with a copy of the form as well. We are working out of our office at this time.

Class & Event Registration Policy

Once a purchase has been made, registrations are not refundable and cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a registration and then find you cannot attend the class or event, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at wlt@writersleague.org and let us know the name and contact information for the person who will be using the registration so that we can update the class or event roster.

Credit Card Transaction Handling Fee Policy

All credit card transactions will incur a 4% handling fee. If you’d prefer to pay by check for membership, a class, or an event, you can use the provided forms on the membership or event pages and mail to: WLT, P.O. Box 14355, Austin, TX, 78704.

HOW WLT CLASSES WORK:

Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven’t taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to email WLT Program Director Sam Babiak at sam@writersleague.org if you’d like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.

HOW ONLINE CLASSES WORK:

Once you register for the class, you’ll receive an email with detailed instructions no later than 48 hours before the class date. You should expect 2-2.5 hours of direct teaching and 30 minutes of Q&A (for three hours total). If you need to leave the class early or can’t attend the class on that date, all registrants will have access to the recording for one month after the class date. No microphone or camera required, just an Internet connection capable of streaming video. All online classes are hosted on Zoom. To learn more about how Zoom works, click HERE. 

Plan to log in to the online platform several hours before the class so that you can update your software or any other settings required to access the platform. (Updates usually only take a few minutes, but you don’t want to wait until the beginning of class.) Questions? Email us at wlt@writersleague.org.

Cultural Arts City of Austin

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

Texas Commission on the Arts

Writers’ League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts – Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to www.arts.texas.gov.

National Endowment for the Arts

This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

Mid-America Arts Alliance

This project is supported in part by the Mid-America Arts Alliance. For more information, go to www.maaa.org.

Details

Date:
April 25, 2020
Time:
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM CDT
Event Categories:
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Venue

St. Edward’s University
3001 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704 United States
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