New Class!

The Psychology of Plot - Remote!

6 Thursdays from 6:00pm-9:00pm (EST), starting April 1st.
Remote! (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
This class is full

Even the most character-driven works are generally underpinned by a well-constructed series of events. But what makes a plot well-constructed? A simple beginning, middle, and end? A series of surprising twists? Strict adherence to Freytag’s Pyramid? In this class, we’ll dig into the actions that structure our characters’ journeys, taking inspiration from the study of behavior. Through close reading, discussion, and writing practice, you’ll learn to connect with a character’s identities, motivations, and subconscious needs through the events of your story. We’ll work through a series of multidisciplinary exercises to discover how to develop internal and external arcs that support one another, harness pacing to spur character growth, and develop a logic of plot that is rooted in individual characters rather than in arbitrary diagrams and structures. As we break down published works and share our own drafts, you’ll arrive at a more nuanced understanding of how psychology drives plot and leave with a toolkit of hacks you can use to climb your way out of any plothole.

Please Note: This class will not meet on April 22nd (Muse Conference). 

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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Stephanie K Brownell
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Previous Students Say

  • "Inspired Me to Write More"
  • "Inundated with Great Info"


  • Generate New Work
  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Lecture
  • In-Class Reading
  • Class Discussion
  • Computer or Tablet Recommended
  • Concept Development


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level



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