Fiction | Workshop

6-Week Fiction Workshop

Point of view is one of the most important factors in determining how readers will engage with your story. Not only does it shape the way readers anticipate and understand unfolding action, but it also influences how close they will feel to your characters.

In this course we will focus on the core skills of creative writing, and it is well suited for writers of all levels. We'll look at how to create fully fleshed-out characters, how to ground them in a setting of well-chosen details, and how to put them in motion in a dynamic plot. And we'll look at all of this through the lens of point of view.

While on the surface it may seem as simple as choosing first person or third (or second!), point of view is also about issues of distance, focus, and voice, and we'll be exploring these nuances through short readings by authors such as Ed Park, Donald Barthelme, and Jenny Offill. Hopefully this will encourage you to play a bit with point of view and perhaps even stray a little from your comfort zone. Maybe you always write in first person, but you want to try third, or maybe you want to go even further out and try writing about a group experience from a plural point of view. Whatever the case, you will come away from this course with a greater sense of the possibilities of point of view and a better ability to choose the tools to make you the strongest storyteller you can be.

COURSE TAKEAWAYS:

- Learn the core skills of character development, scene setting, and plot mechanics

- Workshop two stories (or novel excerpts) with written peer and instructor feedback

- One individual meeting with the instructor to discuss work submitted and areas for improvement

- Access to Catapult's list of writing opportunities and important submission deadlines, as well as a 10% discount on all future Catapult classes

*no class on May 27

Dustin Long

Dustin Long is the Los Angeles Times bestselling author of ICELANDER and BAD TEETH. He is a teacher at a private institution in Manhattan, and he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.

Testimonials

"Long possesses a searching, powerful intellect and a confident, engaging voice, and I plan on reading everything he writes from now on."

Charles Yu author of HOW TO LIVE SAFELY IN A SCIENCE FICTIONAL UNIVERSE and SORRY PLEASE THANK YOU

“A talented wordsmith…Long aspires to the linguistic acrobatics of Nabokov and Pynchon.”

Booklist

"Dustin is thoughtful, encouraging, and kind."

former student

"Dustin encouraged me to think about fiction in a new way, and I feel like a stronger writer because of it."

former student