Pacing, Structure and Timelines in Fiction 8-Week Zoom Workshop, Starts Tuesday, January 9th, 2024
Class Starts Tuesday, January 9th, 2024
Class will meet weekly via Zoom (Tuesdays, 5PM EST - 7PM EST).
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Led by Pingmei Lan, whose work has appeared in The Florida Review, Blackbird, Epiphany, Smokelong Quarterly, Tahoma Literary Review and others. She is a winner of the 2019 PEN/DAU Best Debut Short Stories prize, a finalist in the Atlanta Review's 2019 International Poetry Competition and a 2021 Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the 2022 Nancy Zafris Memorial Scholar at the Kenyon Review Writers' Workshop.
Get to know Pingmei in our Meet the Teaching Artist series.
A foundation craft class for fiction writers seeking to learn or improve techniques on building an effective timeline and structure, or create vivid and well-paced scenes.
Whether you are a seasoned writer or relatively new to writing, you've probably experienced moments of frustration which pulled you away from the work at hand for a day or a longer period of writer's block.
This course, open to writers with all levels of scene-writing experience, is designed to help writers to regain the focus on writing with specific craft techniques. Whether you are a meticulous outliner or an intuitive writer who focuses on flow, this class will take you through specific steps of designing or reworking the structure, timeline, and pacing for your work so you could unlock the flow of ideas, polish a rough draft, or transform an anecdote into a strong, compelling story.
Throughout the course, students will be given writing prompts and revision guidelines to help them enhance their learning and apply them to their own work.
Writers will walk away with several key timeline principles and fundamental story structures, based on examples from award-winning works by the likes of Jhumpa Lahiri, Charles Yu, and Kirstin Valdez Quade (exact reading list may be adjusted for a specific session). Each writer will also submit to workshop once, to receive written and verbal feedback from the instructor and their peers.
The course aims to introduce students to a variety of literary forms, voices, and traditions, so an open-mind and willingness to discover, write, and explore are the most fundamental qualities needed.
- A deeper understanding of the importance of timeline, pacing, and structure in fiction.
- The ability to recognize and identify structural elements from known literary works.
- Key ways to incorporate known structures and to use timeline techniques in new work.
By the end of the class, you will have the tools you need to create a polished work of fiction.
Week 1 - Introduction, Syllables, Secrets and Staging
Week 2 - Workshop, The Art of Braiding
Week 3 - Workshop, Sex, Power and Pacing
Week 4 - Workshop, Timeline & Characterization
Week 5 - Workshop, Heroes and Sci-fis
Week 6 - Workshop, Scenes, Dialogues & Details
Week 7 - Workshop, Objects and Symbols
Week 8 - Workshop, Story Structure Secrets
- "You Know You Want it Ice Cold" by Rachel Heng
- "A Temporary Matter" by Jhumpa Lahiri
- "Creative Writing" by Etgar Keret
- "Off" by Aimee Bender
- "Standard Loneliness Package" by Charles Yu
- "The Husband Stitch" by Carmen Maria Machado
* Please also note that additional readings may be provided as part of the syllabus.
Pingmei's class unlocked something deep in my memory or subconscious and I wrote a scene that I didn't think I could write. -former student
Pingmei gives very generous feedback to other writers and her comments are humorous and helpful. -former student
Pingmei's critique notes are very impressive. I shared them with my writing group as well and they were equally impressed. -former student
Pingmei leads a wonderful workshop. Her comments are insightful, and she leads discussion in an encouraging and inclusive manner. She takes into account the writer’s intention, highlights what is working as well as points of confusion, and asks questions that allow both readers and the writer to look at character, pacing, and theme in different ways. Her critiques are incredibly in-depth and thought-provoking. I felt completely comfortable while in workshop, and came away with both new ideas and increased confidence in my own writing. -former student
Pingmei was a wonderful, straightforward, and kind teacher, and I am eager to take another class with her. -former student
This was a fantastic class. Pingmei was a thoughtful instructor who really challenged me to think about the way realism and magical realism interact. -former student
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!
- Instructor: Pingmei Lan
- Class size limited to 10 writers
- Class Starts Tuesday, January 9th, 2024
- Class will meet via Zoom on Tuesdays, 5PM EST - 7PM EST.
Instructor Pingmei Lan holds an MFA in creative writing. Her work has appeared in The Florida Review, Blackbird, Epiphany, Smokelong Quarterly, Tahoma Literary Review and others. She is a winner of the 2019 PEN/DAU Best Debut Short Stories prize, a finalist in the Atlanta Review's 2019 International Poetry Competition and a 2021 Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the 2022 Nancy Zafris Memorial Scholar at the Kenyon Review Writers' Workshop.