Setting as Character
Whether you're writing space opera or a young adult memoir, a crime novel or a short story set in Albany, every story has setting. Truly great settings live in our minds. Mary Karr's Texas, bursting with a million human comedies and tragedies. Frank McCourt's economically depressed Ireland. The imaginative far-future worlds of N.K. Jemisin. All of these have one thing in common: the setting isn't just where the story happens, it is an integral part of the story. In fact, the settings act much like characters.
In this short workshop, we will review different theories and pieces of craft advice to help us build well-rendered settings in any genre. We will look at how contemporary authors have created active, "living" settings that "work" like characters on the page. Finally, we will take some time to practice these techniques, with the goal of creating settings that feel both real and alive—not matter how fantastical they may seem. This workshop is great for fiction and narrative non-fiction writers. However, writers revising a book-length project will probably get the most out of the course.
This informational event will take place in-person at our Center for Creative Writing in Boston's Seaport neighborhood. The Memoir Incubator program will also take place primarily at our Center for Creative Writing, with a selection of classes in each phase taking place on Zoom
GrubStreet's space will be mask optional when Boston's Covid-19 Community Level is low or medium. When the Covid-19 Community Level is high, our space will require masks. Please check GrubStreet's Covid-19 page for the latest info on masking and Community Levels before visiting in-person.
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 detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.
- Study Published Writing
- In-Class Writing
- In-Class Reading
- Class Discussion
- The Novel
- Short Fiction
- Book-Length Memoir