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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

Constructing the Scene

No Longer Enrolling

  • $130.00 Non-Member
  • $110.00 Member

Class Description

Great scenes can make a story unforgettable, encouraging the audience to come back to the work again and again just to experience this one moment. But how do you construct a scene that moves the story forward and also grabs the audience in a way that they can never forget?

In this seminar, writers will learn what makes a great scene and then put this knowledge to work, creating a scene (or transforming an existing one) that will be full of tension, unique detail, and power.

Topics covered will include how to create suspense, when to start the scene, subverting the audience’s expectations, uncovering character motivations, creating the ideal setting, adding detail, and creating a mood.

We will watch and read several great scenes from films and novels and analyze what makes them compelling. During the second half of the class, writers will use what they learned to construct a scene and then share their work aloud while receiving instructor and peer feedback.

For short story writers, novelists, screenwriters, or playwrights looking to make their scenes more effective.

Part of GrubStreet's Elements of Craft series, dedicated to exploring craft issues on a deeper level. For more on this series' offerings, click here.

Scholarships Format/Location

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.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!