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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Intermediate

Novel Revision Series: Descriptive Writing & Image Systems

No Longer Enrolling

  • $130.00 Non-Member
  • $110.00 Member

Class Description

“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:

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. 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!

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!