Constructing the Scene

Saturday, July 13th, 10:30am-1:30pm
GrubStreet HQ
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
13 seats max

Great scenes can make a story unforgettable, encouraging the audience to come back to the work again and again just to experience this one moment. But how do you construct a scene that moves the story forward and also grabs the audience in a way that they can never forget?

In this seminar, writers will learn what makes a great scene and then put this knowledge to work, creating a scene (or transforming an existing one) that will be full of tension, unique detail, and power. Topics covered will include how to create suspense, when to start the scene, subverting the audience’s expectations, uncovering character motivations, creating the ideal setting, adding detail, and creating a mood.

 We will watch and read several great scenes from films and novels and analyze what makes them compelling. For short story writers, novelists, screenwriters, or playwrights looking to make their scenes more effective.


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Mark Fogarty
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Previous Students Say


  • In-Class Writing Prompts
  • Class Discussion
  • In-Class Reading
  • Lecture
  • Craft Lessons


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Book-Length Memoir
  • Literary Journalism
  • Screenwriting

Commitment Level



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