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

Unlocking Structure: Using Films to Give Your Story Shape

No Longer Enrolling

  • $150.00 Non-Member
  • $130.00 Member

Class Description

There’s nothing more frustrating that arriving halfway through your story or novel and having no idea what should happen next. As writers, we peer into the miasma ahead, hypnotized by the vast wilderness of options or paralyzed by a lack of them. Fortunately, there is a road map to figure out what to do at any point in our story, but also guides us, step-by-step, to the thrilling showdown and satisfying conclusion.

The cinematic three-act structure is a cornerstone of storytelling. By understanding and dissecting it, we can find our way out of the “wilderness.” In this two-part class, we’ll discuss how films can help us navigate narrative structure and use this knowledge to unlock the structural issues in our own writing. There will be an opportunity to workshop students’ work, so bring your work-in-progress, be it a novel or a short story. You should also plan to bring a loose list of favorite films you have recently seen or like to watch often.

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!