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“The Narrative Arc” with Chaitali Sen Class Package

January 27 2024 9:00 AM - May 25 2024 1:00 PM CST

$177.00 – $357.00

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$177 for members

$357 for nonmembers

Learn how to craft your story’s narrative arc from the beginning to the end.

This class package will help long-form writers — in both fiction and memoir — craft and hone the arc of their story over the course of this season. Each story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. These classes will help you focus on and perfect each of these elements in your manuscript, so that your novel or memoir hooks your readers, keeps them invested, and leaves them longing for your next book.

The classes are spaced throughout the season, so that students will have time to contemplate and implement the takeaways before moving on to the next portion of their story. Whether you’re looking to bring a new idea to the page, you’re partway through a project, or you’ve completed a manuscript that needs revising, this class package will help you develop and refine your narrative’s arc. Each class is led by Chaitali Sen.

In addition, everyone who purchases the package will be invited to an exclusive class package meet-up before the first class on Saturday, January 27, at 9:00 AM CST, a great opportunity to connect with fellow writers as you enjoy this shared experience.

Can’t make it to every class? No worries! All registrants will have access to the class recordings for the duration of the package, plus an additional month.

Click on each individual title to view additional class details.


“Beginnings Bootcamp: Start Your Story, Hook Your Reader”

Saturday, January 27, 2024, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM CST

The first third of any narrative is an on-ramp and road map to a new world – for both the writer and the reader. 

Every story has to start somewhere, but where you start can lead you right to the end of your manuscript. In this three-hour class, we will discuss the beginnings of narrative arcs – their purpose, elements, and possibilities. Some of the work you put into your beginnings won’t even make it onto the page, and in most cases, beginnings change from draft to draft as you learn more about your story, so how do you navigate the process of beginning your story so that even your missteps are productive? Participants will examine the various choices that go into beginning a manuscript, identify common pitfalls, and use their vision of the story they want to write to find the right beginning.


“Messy Middles: Raising the Stakes and Finding the Heart of Your Story”

Saturday, March 23, 2024, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM CDT

The middle of your novel or memoir is where you really get to tell a great story.

Getting your characters into trouble is part of what makes stories compelling, but it’s up to the author to guide the reader (and characters) through those messes without the middle of your manuscript becoming muddy or confusing. On the flip side is a flat, sluggish middle where too little happens. In this three-hour class, we will concentrate on the longest part of the narrative arc – the middle, where our initial enthusiasm for our project can often deflate. The source of energy, for the writer and the reader, lies in the strength of the story, the stakes of the problems our characters face, and action (plot). Participants will discuss the elements of a strong middle, look at different structures that can hold up a long manuscript, identify common problems, and brainstorm ideas for escalation.


“Destinations and Resolutions: The End and How to Get There”

Saturday, May 25, 2024, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM CDT

The right ending of a novel or memoir should satisfy and haunt the reader.

The ending of your novel or memoir brings the action to a close, resolves the major conflicts and questions, and gives the reader a lingering “feeling” about the book. If you can nail the ending of your novel or memoir, you have solved one of the hardest problems of storytelling. This three-hour class will cover the last part of the narrative arc: the end. Participants will examine story structures and outlines to see how effective endings are linked to what has come before, discuss what should happen in final chapters and final pages, and brainstorm and evaluate ending ideas for their own projects.

 

 

Instructor

Chaitali Sen is the author of the novel The Pathless Sky and the story collection A New Race of Men from Heaven, chosen by Danielle Evans as the winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and one of Kirkus Reviews' 100 Best Fiction Books of 2023. Her stories and essays have been published by American Short Fiction, Boulevard, Catapult, Colorado Review, Ecotone, and many other publications. She holds an MFA from Hunter College - City University of New York, and currently lives in Central Texas.

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 to ensure we add you to the class roster as soon as possible.

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Confirm you are logged into your account first and foremost. The member price will only appear when you are logged into your account and have an active membership on file. If you are having trouble accessing your account, please email member@writersleague.org and explain the situation.

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 the WLT staff at wlt@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 an hour 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

Start:
January 27 2024 9:00 AM CST
End:
May 25 2024 1:00 PM CST
Cost:
$177.00 – $357.00
Event Categories:
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Venue

Online via Zoom