Part Two – ‘Going Further’ – Course Structure

Part Two – ‘Going Further’ builds on Part One in the ways listed below. In 7 Modules, you’ll:

– write at least 13 new flashes/chapters for your novella
– undertake 18 exploration/brainstorming activities to clarify your material
– write connecting chapters to gather existing scenes into a coherent tapestry
– figure out the narrative arc of your novella
– go deeper with your characters in terms of their values and psychology
– learn to drive your “story-engine” in innovative ways
– figure out technical questions of structure, layout and presentation
– find an ending.

Estimated time per Module – 3 to 6 hours of writing, reading and thinking. Six of the seven Modules include feedback on your flash fiction. (One Module is reserved for a problem-solving exchange.)

PART TWO – Going Further

Module 9 – Thickening Your Story Soup (stage 3): “Connective Tissue” – Thickening the Weave Between Individual Flashes; Time-markers; Plot Links; Extra Writing Prompts – “Fragmented Continuity” and “Talking & Travelling”; Two Sophie Van Llewyn Essays on Using Strange/Innovative Forms; “Slouch to 5k” coaching programme – ‘The Empty Hour’

Module 10 – Thickening Your Story Soup (stage 4): Creating a “Story-Engine” (parts two and three) – Introducing Narrative Turning Points – The Arrival of “News” or Major Life Events; Changes Within a Relationship; Other Shifts in a Character’s Experiences or Worldview; Competing Forces; Maggie Gee’s theory of “Primal Action”; Writing Prompt – Photographs (a); “Slouch to 5k” coaching programme – ‘The Film’

Module 11 – Digging Deeper into Character (part two) – Socio-Political Issues; Contrasting values; Changing values; Cultural-historical Context; Psychological Interpretations of Character – Metaprograms; Erikson’s Theory of Stages of Development; Writing Prompt – Photographs (b)

Module 12 – Problem-Solving Surgery; “Speaking Silences” – Extracts from a Novel-in-flash by Charles Lambert; Format/Layout – titles/headings; page breaks; character/place labels; passage of time; Optional Novella-in-Flash Case Study 3; Extra Writing Prompt – Family/Friendship/Romance; Reading inspiration – flash fictions from six different novellas

Module 13 – Narrative Arcs: Useful Narrative Frameworks To Borrow From When Stuck (Aristotle; the Seven Basic Plots; George Polti’s 36 dramatic situations; Freytag’s Pyramid; Tony Zhou video on Opposition/Parallelism/Progression); Creating a Timeline/Map for Your Novella; Guidance on Writing a Synopsis; Writing Prompt – Photographs (c); “Slouch to 5k” coaching programme – ‘The Exchange’

Module 14 – Endings: Options for Endings incl. ‘Loop’, ‘Open-Door’ and ‘Concrete’ Endings, with example flash fictions; Reading Inspiration – extract from Patricia Ann McNair essay on finding an ending: ‘Taking the Long Way’; Problem-Solving Surgery

Module 15 – Optional 45-minute Skype/Zoom/telephone Tutorial or Email exchange; Feedback on a further 10 pages of completed flash fiction + Synopsis; Reflections on the Course; Identifying Next Steps

Postscript Sequencing Chapters; Writing More Flashes; Editing; Reading Inspiration – George Saunders essay – ‘What Writers Really Do When They Write’; Publishing Individual Chapters; Where to Publish Novellas-in-Flash

(At the end of the course, you’ll be offered options for detailed written feedback on a longer final manuscript and/or ongoing mentoring as you try to get the manuscript published – see Prices for details.)