fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Summer Quarter

Summer Registration Now Open
Most Classes Begin Jun 24
shopping cart icon0

Courses


« Back to Creative Writing

CW 76 W — Mastering Subplot in Novels and Memoirs

Quarter: Summer
Instructor(s): Jeff Lyons
Duration: 6 weeks
Format/Location: Flex Online
Date(s): Jun 24—Aug 2
Class Recording Available: Yes
Tuition: $655
Refund Deadline: Jun 27
 
Unit(s): 1
   
Enrollment Limit: 19
  
Status: Closed
 
Quarter: Summer
Unit(s): 1
Duration: 6 weeks
 
Date(s): Jun 24—Aug 2
 
Format/Location: Flex Online
 
Tuition: $655
 
Refund Deadline: Jun 27
 
Instructor(s): Jeff Lyons
 
Enrollment Limit: 19
 
Recording Available: Yes
 
Status: Closed
 
Have you ever launched a novel or memoir with energy and excitement, only to find that your narrative ran out of gas and started to sputter halfway through the book (if not sooner)? Subplots are the key to maintaining urgency in the middle of any novel or memoir, and yet many writers barely give subplots a second thought, or they write with no real understanding of how to handle subplot, fingers crossed, just hoping for the best as they stumble forward. This course will show you how subplots can be consciously designed to support the mainline story so that it never lags or drags, keeping the reader (and you!) energized to the end of the book.

We will begin by discussing what subplots are (and are not), why you need them, and how to build and masterfully integrate them into your own writing to avoid “the mushy middle” that plagues so many aspiring authors. Through weekly lectures, readings, and writing assignments, students will implement a set of proven tools for subplot development, constructing this essential element to strengthen their novels or memoirs. We will also cover the basics of synopsis writing, pacing fundamentals, and narrative drive, providing students with the juice to power their narrative engines and write with confidence to the end of their story.

Students should have a story in progress.

JEFF LYONS
Writer; Producer

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 forthcoming book is The Story-Subplot Connection: How to Master Subplots for Novelists and Screenwriters. His writing has appeared in numerous magazines, including Writer’s Digest, Script, The Writer, and Writing Magazine (UK). His feature film, American Thunderbolt, will be released in 2024, and he has several TV series in active development in the US and UK.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Jeff Lyons, Rapid Story Development #1: Commercial Pace in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction(Kindle only, no book format available) (ISBN ASIN ‏B07F6TVRB9)
(Recommended) Jeff Lyons, Rapid Story Development: How to Use the Enneagram-Story Connection to Become a Master Storyteller (ISBN 978-1138929708 )