Novel Revision Series: Genre, Concept, Premise, Theme

Saturday, March 23rd, from 10:00am-5:00pm
GrubStreet HQ
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Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

Most novelists know whether their work in progress is science fiction, fantasy, literary, horror, or romance—but do you know the difference between a content genre and an internal genre? How about the difference between a maturation story and an education story? Between a tragedy and a pathetic plot? Have you isolated your protagonist’s external and internal stories? Have you articulated a controlling idea and a premise? Our goal in this workshop will be to more clearly define the genres and subgenres of our novels in progress, because in examining the assumptions and expectations inherent in those genres we can gain valuable perspective on our work’s basic architecture. We’ll also give some thought to the broad ideas underlying our work—to that most intractable of questions: What’s it about?

By looking at your own novel in progress from a number of different angles, you’ll get a better vantage point for a revision that will make your novel not only easier to publish, but more appealing and satisfying for readers. Bring a one-page, single-spaced synopsis and the first three pages of your work in progress, along with the titles of three to five “comp” books – novels that are in some way comparable to the book you’re trying to write.

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. Classes include:

  • Novel Revision Series: Killer Openings & Symphonic Endings
  • Novel Revision Series: Sentence-Level Music
  • Novel Revision Series: Zeroing in on Genre and Theme
  • Novel Revision Series: Dramatic Structure & Narrative Drive
  • Novel Revision Series: Descriptive Writing & Image Systems
  • Novel Revision Series: Interiority, Backstory & Flashback
  • Novel Revision Series: Point of View & Psychic Distance
  • Novel Revision Series: Dialogue & the Scene
  • Novel Revision Series: Minor & Supporting Characters

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

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


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


  • The Novel

Commitment Level



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