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  • Workshop
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)
  • 7 Weeks

The Psychology of Plot

No Longer Enrolling

  • $510.00 Non-Member
  • $490.00 Member

Class Description

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.

Class Format

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!

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.

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!