New Class!

Essentials of Plot Design in Fiction - Remote!

Friday, September 25th, 10:30am-1:30pm (EST)
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
See Map
Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
This class is full

Like building the foundation of a house, great novels and short stories alike need strong, well-thought out plot structures to craft rich, compelling tales. In this weekend seminar class, students will learn practical strategies on utilizing techniques of layering and depth-building in fiction to create powerful central conflicts and intricately woven storylines and subplots that add complication, tension and complexity to story. Taking a layered approach to story building helps writers better organize and understand the narrative hierarchy at work in their story, while deepening character arcs and allowing haunting themes to take shape and emerge. Through in-class exercises, mini group workshops, and in-class reading and discussions of intricately designed short stories and novels like Alice Munro's "The Beggar Maid," Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things and Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad, students will learn practical techniques in crafting better plot outlines, subplots, and revision strategies that they can directly apply to their own fiction.

This class will be hosted using live Zoom meetings! You will be able to participate in class via Zoom videoconference from wherever you’re most comfortable. All you’ll need is a laptop or a phone! About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting via Zoom–no need to download anything or sign up for Zoom in advance! If you have questions about remote learning, please feel free to reach out to [email protected] for more information.

For a glimpse at how remote learning works, look no further than the deep Zoom discussion of writing and literature below:

Scholarship Information

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.

  • -


grubstreet Image
Olivia Kate Cerrone
See Bio


  • Computer or Tablet Recommended
  • Class Discussion
  • Lecture
  • Craft Lessons


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



Need a scholarship?

Learn more