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Writing the Particular in Fiction

6 Weeks • with Drew Johnson • All Levels / Some Experience

  • Starts Oct 8
  • 395 US dollars
  • Online via Zoom

Available spots

Class Description

As writers, we're subject to the same influences and pressures as we are as people. And one of the most fraught aspects of being a writer (and a person) is understanding how specific we are or how generic (or both). We live in a maelstrom of typification (MBTI, algorithmic browsing history nightmares) and that can't help but find its way into our thinking about people, about character--whatever that means right now--and how to create or represent individuals on the page. We're going to explore ways that the specific can "jump the tracks" so to speak, often by returning to primary sources: the kinds of information that nonfiction lives by...and fiction and poetry need more of. Can we think about the way that our understanding of a character exists outside of creative writing conventions (as well as their role in our story) and draw on other frameworks and mindsets. Week 1: Who Do You Think You Are? How We Appear on the Page Week 2: Chekhov & the Idea of Detail Week 3: You Know What I Mean: Developing the Oral Idea of Character Week 4: Getting Away from Unity: Different Things, Different People Week 5: Working Off the Cuff: How Much Is Too Much, How Much is Too Little Week 6: Letting People Keep Their Secrets: How Can We Withhold, If Nobody Wants Us To" INSTRUCTOR DREW JOHNSON's stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Harper's, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Literary Review, The Cupboard, Gulf Coast, New England Review, and elsewhere. Reviews, essays, and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming at Literary Hub, Guernica, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. He received his MFA from the University of Virginia.

Upcoming Sessions

Cancellation Policy

If you withdraw from a workshop TEN DAYS OR MORE before the start of the class: You'll receive full credit toward another workshop OR a full refund (minus 10%, a transaction fee that is non-refundable and that we would otherwise be charged). If you withdraw from a workshop nine days before the start of the class up until 48 hours before: You'll receive a refund minus 20%. If you withdraw from a workshop less than 48 hours before the start of a class or after the class has begun: We cannot offer credit or any refund. If you are absent on the day of your workshop or miss it for any reason, we are unable to offer any kind of refund or credit. If we have to cancel a class you have paid for, you will receive a full refund, without the service charge deducted. For our full listing of policies, visit www.PioneerValleyWriters.Com, Policies page (under Home). To withdraw and receive a partial refund according to the above, please get in touch with Joy at

Contact Details

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