Winter 2018 Fiction Writing Classes

  1. Advanced Fiction Writing: Character


The winter class will focus on “character” and “scene.”  We will begin by reducing character to an essential value mobilized by a “desire” to seek a “goal.”  We will next examine how character evolves on the journey through the five-focused plot structure by looking at methods of character presentation in each of the five focuses.  We will also consider the role of subtext based on the assumption that characters arrive in stories with a history of repressed desires and needs. We will compare the role of character, and the amount of subtext required in the form of ghosts and revenants in popular genres to that in literary fiction. We’ll spend time walking characters through dramatized scenes.  Finally, we will talk about character “reversals” and how they might evolve differently in literary stories and in popular fiction genres and we’ll consider how to use scene to design story structure.

Runs: Thursday evenings 1/4/2018 through 3/8/2018, 7-9:30 PM, Phinney Neighborhood Center #3.


Story by Robert McKee, ISBN: 9780060391683; Scene & Structure by Jack Bickham, ISBN: 9780898799064; The Art of Subtext by Charles Baxter, ISBN: 9781555974732; Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose, ISBN: 9780060777050; The Art of Character by David Corbett, ISBN: 9780143121572; A novel or two (tba).


2) How to Build a Novel (and Write Smooth Prose)

Runs: Wednesday evenings, 6-9 PM, UW campus, 1/3/2018 – 3/7/2018

Course still in design. Texts will include: Writing For Story by Jon Franklin, Story by Robert McKee, Scene & Structure by Jack Bickham, and The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler, and two novels (tba).