Fiction Workshop: Intermediate Fiction Writing

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Fiction Workshop: Intermediate Fiction Writing


Level: Intermediate

Instructor: C. Gregory Thompson

Location: Online
Duration: 8 weeks
Begins: September 30 2019
Ends: November 24, 2019


This class is for students who already know the basics of fiction writing. Maybe you are starting your first novel. Maybe you have outlined a new short story and are ready to start writing. Or, maybe you took our Introduction to Fiction Writing workshop. If any of these are true, then this is the class for you.

This 8-week intermediate class is for writers who understand the elements of fiction. They will be familiar with point of view, first sentences, plot, character, conflict and resolution, description, dialogue, setting, and theme. All of these are examined more closely throughout the course, but this class is for the writer ready to move their writing up a level.

This class starts with a quick review of these fiction basics. We then move on to discuss tone, voice, theme, style, pacing, foreshadowing, beginnings and endings, show vs. tell, symbolism, structure, metaphor, language, and all-important revision. Exercises help the student dig deeper into their story, to unearth character truths and beliefs. The instructor suggests readings or books on an individual or group basis. He discusses too how to establish a productive writing practice. Students submit work for instructor feedback each week. They also exchange feedback with other students twice during the term (during weeks four and eight). Although production remains up to the work ethic and goals of the writer, the expected outcome is to finish a new draft of a short story or novel chapter. Like all Pen and Paper Writing Workshops, this class is conducted in a safe, nurturing and caring environment.

Class Outline

Week 1: A Recap of Fiction Elements

Week 2: Using Tone, Voice & Theme in Fiction

Week 3: Pacing & Foreshadowing: Understanding Them

Week 4: Beginnings & Endings: The Best They Can Be

Week 5: Symbolism, Metaphor & Language: Make Your Writing More Complex

Week 6: Show vs Tell: A Deeper Look

Week 7: Revision: A Writer’s Single Most Important Skill

Week 8: Your Current Draft: Are You Ready to Go On?

Instructor Bio

A Pushcart Prize nominee, C. Gregory Thompson writes short stories, plays, screenplays, novels and memoir. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Maine Review, Storgy Magazine, Writers Resist, Five:2:One, Cowboy Jamboree, Full Grown People, The Offbeat, Printers Row Journal and Reunion: The Dallas Review, among others. Four of his short stories were included in the 2017 New Short Fiction Series. He was named a finalist in the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival’s 2015 Fiction Contest. His short play Cherry won two playwriting awards. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts at the University of California, Riverside/Palm Desert. He also has a BFA in Film & Television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Here he wrote and directed the awarding-winning student film “Elysian Fields.” He recently left a longtime career in the film business as an awards consultant to Hollywood studios and now devotes full time to writing and teaching. He lives in greater Los Angeles, California with his partner. Follow Thompson on Twitter @cgregthompson and on Instagram @cgregorythompson.


“C. Gregory Thompson's short stories are sharp and original slices cut from slightly warped, off-kilter worlds where the fantastical and magical often collides with the hard-bitten truth of daily life. It tastes fresh and fearless.”

 Mark Haskell Smith, Author of Naked at Lunch

 “C. Gregory Thompson illuminates the complex lives of a wide range of characters with great empathy, wit, and eloquence. He knows how to weave a compelling tale and present our secret dreams with grace and power.

 Mary Otis, Author of Yes, Yes Cherries

“‘Runner, Runner’ is a fantastic piece. It's the kind of profile of character and place we relish.”

Adam Van Winkle, Editor, Cowboy Jamboree