I've received several questions about the September Structure workshop, and thought it made sense to address them here, too.
I'm a new writer. Can I take your class, or will it be too advanced for me?
No, I don't think it's too advanced for a beginner. It will flood your brain with information, but it's information you can use right now to make your writing better, and none of it is conceptually difficult. And you need at least a fundamental understanding of structure to shape a book, so in that way, it's perfect for new writers.
But it is a lot of material. A lot. My whole goal in this course is to take abstract concepts (Aristotle's notion of magnitude, for example), and show you how to translate that to real scenes and plots and characters. So it's very practical, and for that reason alone, it would be great for a new writer.
My advice to the new writer, though, is to hang onto the lessons and revisit them in a year or two. What's important to you in the early stages is not what will be important to you later. Today you might be wrestling with conflict and causation. Tomorrow, it might be sequencing and logic. The workshop addresses a broad range of structure concepts, some of which might be more worthwhile later. (But it sure won't hurt you any to get exposed to these ideas early on.)
I've published six books. Will there be anything new for me to learn in this class?
Experienced writers like the structure workshop because, even if they know these theories, they don't always know what to do with them. I mean, it's one thing to say that events must have a certain magnitude. It's another to know how to evaluate your writing for magnitude and change it where necessary. (I've been working on the magnitude lesson today, which is why this is on my mind.)
And if you've had little training in literary theory, but still manage to pull together publishable books, this class might provide you with a new understanding of your instinctive approach to your work. Perhaps you already "get" the mechanics of character shifts in some deeply intuitive way. This workshop will give you the tools and the vocabulary to manage your draft structures in a more thoughtful way.
Are there still spaces left?
Yes, a few, but not many. I want to keep this class size fairly small because it's intensive. I've done it in person for years, but never online before now, and I'm not sure how that will affect the Q&A. But if we keep it fairly intimate, I'll know that I have ample time to handle whatever arises, and nobody will be shortchanged.
I don't understand what this workshop will be about. What is structure?
Take the class and find out. :)
It's going to be a great workshop. I've given this one in person a million times over the past two decades, and believe me, people walk out of it armed for battle. This isn't just academic theory blah blah blah, and there will be a lot of step-by-step explanations of how to handle different structural concepts when working on real manuscripts.