Novel Revision Series: Descriptive Writing & Image Systems - Remote!

Saturday, October 10th, from 10:00am-5:00pm (EST)
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” — Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Good descriptive writing—setting, landscape, imagery, a sense of place—is a critical feature of a gripping novel. It puts the "vivid" in John Gardner’s “vivid, continuous dream” of fiction and has the power to strike a musical chord of emotions, sweeping the reader along in the current of the story. This discussion-based craft workshop will begin with a question: How does one achieve this almost mystical “transportation effect”?

The use of repeated and varied image systems can make a novel or story truly resonate on a subconscious level; it is central to creating narratives that accumulate meaning and emotional impact. In this intensive workshop we’ll use a combination of discussion, close reading, and writing/revision exercises to gain a greater appreciation for the potential of descriptive writing to give your manuscript new power and vibrancy.

Participants are invited to bring in a selection of important scenes from their novels in progress for potential sharing and on-the-spot revision exercises. Novel and chapter openings are particularly recommended.

The instructor will contact students by email 3-5 days in advance of the class to assign a few brief readings.

Part of GrubStreet's Novel Revision Series, led by Tim Weed and designed for those who have either finished or are nearing completion of a novel draft. Take every class in the series or simply choose the craft topics that are relevant to the revision challenges you face with your novel in progress. Fall classes include:

  • Novel Revision Series: Descriptive Writing & Image Systems
  • Novel Revision Series: Interiority, Backstory, and Flashback

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.

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Timothy Weed
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Previous Students Say

  • "Lots of Practical Tips"
  • "Very Well-Organized"
  • "Inundated with Great Info"


  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Workshop
  • Lecture
  • In-Class Reading
  • Class Discussion


  • The Novel

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Learn more
Short Fiction Essentials Series: Revising Your Draft
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Short Fiction Essentials Series: Revising Your Draft, Part II
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Master Novel in Progress
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