4-Week: Revising the Short StoryDescription:
The short story is the most difficult form of all. A story may not take long to draft, but in order to succeed, it must build its world, capture love for its characters, escalate toward its particular heartbreak, surprise and exceed our expectations—all within a few pages. A short story has to be nearly perfect to work at all, and yet the masters—Alice Munro, William Trevor, Flannery O’Connor—can stun and upend with hardly a touch.
This four-week workshop will provide you with a straightforward, step-at-a-time method for revising your stories. We’ll build practices for identifying the central emotional question of a story, tuning scenes and sequence, narrating with efficiency and surprise, and concluding or, as George Saunders puts it, “stopping without sucking.” We’ll also look at exemplary revisions from Munro, Wells Tower, and others. The short story is a wonderful proving ground for novelists and memoirists, and this workshop is designed to challenge new writers and seasoned revisers alike. Please bring a draft of a story you’re eager to rethink and rewrite.
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