Craft Essentials: Three-Act Structure
Fighting with your fiction? Mulling over your memoir? Struggling with your screenplay? Plugging away at your pilot or play? You’re in luck! In this course, we will use structure to solve our story problems, by exploring how the classic three-act structure is used across genres, and applying the structural tools we learn to our own work.
Each week, we’ll read/watch, and discuss in depth one act* of a novel, memoir, screenplay, play, and/or tv pilot to see how structure serves the story (examples may include, but are not limited to, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, Lady Bird by Greta Gerwig, and Less by Andrew Sean Greer). We will put what we learn into practice by producing a one-page synopsis and/or outline for each act* of their stories, and submitting it for both peer and instructor feedback.
This course is perfect for the student who wants to send story problems packing and/or study up on three-act structure from its Aristotelian origins to how it’s employed today. You’ll come away with a better understanding of structure, and a road map for how to use it to solve your own story problems.
*For the purposes of this class, act 2 will be referred to as act 2a and act 2b.
*NOTE that while our handy dandy "Schedule" tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Weekly lessons and assignments open each Wednesday. Students will receive an invitation to Wet Ink, our online class platform, before 5pm on the first day of class.
Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.
For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.
Previous Students Say
- "Supportive and Informative"
- "High-Energy Class"
- Study Published Writing
- Get Feedback
- Generate New Work
- Instructor Feedback
- Craft Lessons