Craft Intensive: Time As It Is Felt (Online)
In On Beauty, Zadie Smith writes that, “Time is not what it is, but how it is felt.” We experience time differently depending on what is going on around us: our circumstances and stress levels, how much we want (or don’t want) an event to occur, the anticipation surrounding it. In other words, time almost never unfolds steadily but always has its own rhythm.
In writing, capturing this quality of “felt time” can do wonders to convey a character’s mindset and to hook the reader. In this six-week class, we will examine different techniques to manipulate the reader’s experience of time. We will specifically look at the following topics:
- Knowing when to speed up or slow down
- Narrative techniques/options for where the narrator is in relation to events
- Incorporation of backstory to prevent lulls in the plot
- Strategies for deliberate and effective “pauses,” including how to manipulate the texture and feel of time
- Revision and how editing affects pacing
Each week, we will focus on one of these aspects above, reading published short stories, novel excerpts, and essays to see how time functions on the page. We will engage in creative writing exercises to put these tools into practice. Over the course of the class, you will each have the opportunity to share your work with the entire class in a workshop.
You will come away from this class with a better understanding of how to think about time in your writing and how to engage the reader.
This class is open to all, but will work best for students who have taken an introductory fiction workshop and/or are familiar with the basic elements of fiction.
*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.
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