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Winter Registration Opens Nov 29
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CW 30 W — How to Avoid the "Mushy Middle": Writing Stories Where the Center Holds

Quarter: Winter
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jan 24—Mar 18
Refund Deadline: Jan 27
Units: 2
Tuition: $750
Instructor(s): Jeff Lyons
Limit: 17
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens Nov 29, 8:30 am (PT)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Jan 24—Mar 18
8 weeks
Refund Date
Jan 27
2 Units
Jeff Lyons
Registration opens Nov 29, 8:30 am (PT)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Every novelist or memoirist starts with an abundance of ideas and energy, and many may even have a sense of an ending as they start their books. But somewhere along the way the ideas often lag, the initial burst of energy wanes, and that promising ending feels farther and farther away. Welcome to the mushy middle, that bleak wasteland where many stories languish when promising beginnings lose connection to satisfying endings. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a clear path out of the mushy middle, one that can assure a structurally sound, entertaining, and engaging middle for any story, regardless of genre. This course will teach you the two key story-structure engines needed for any story’s middle, and the two essential character patterns needed to build a character’s arc through that middle, resulting in a solid narrative center that will support any story. These engines and patterns work together not only to assure a narrative throughline that avoids episodic or meandering writing, but also to give you a repeatable process that will produce solid middles for any story you might write in the future. Say goodbye to the mushy middle, and hello to stories that work.

This course is designed for anyone who is drafting a novel or memoir, whether the story is in the beginning stages or final stages.

Story Consultant

Jeff Lyons is the author of Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise and Story Development for Writing Success and Rapid Story Development: How to Use the Enneagram-Story Connection to Become a Master Storyteller. His writing has appeared in Writer’s Digest, Script, The Writer, and Writing Magazine (UK).

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.