Fiction, Novel

  • Term: Summer 2022
  • Start Date: August 13, 2022
  • End Date: August 13, 2022
  • Day of Week: Saturday
  • Time: 10:00am - 1:00pm
  • Level: Open to all levels
  • Audience: Adult
  • Location: Online
  • Availability: Yes
  • Public Price: $90.00
  • Member Price: $81.00

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Time as a Tool for Tension

There are always at least two ticking clocks in fiction. One is the timeline of the story. The other is the clock on the reader’s patience. To get the reader to the end of the tale, the two clocks must interact successfully through a series of decisions to keep the tension taut. In this one-day session you will practice—looking to Joy Williams, Colson Whitehead, and Chekhov for guidance—the careful management of time to increase the tension and, therefore, power in your fiction.

Robin McLean

Robin McLean


Robin McLean worked as a lawyer and then a potter in the woods of Alaska before turning to writing. Her first story collection Reptile House won the 2013 BOA Fiction Prize, was twice a finalist for the Flannery O'Connor Prize and was noted as a best book of 2015 in Paris Review.

Her debut novel Pity the Beast was noted as a best book of fiction of 2021 in The Guardian.

Her second story collection, Get'em Young, Treat'em Tough, Tell'em Nothing is forthcoming in October 2022.

She now lives and teaches in the high plains desert of central Nevada at Ike's Canyon Ranch, a writers' retreat that she co-founded.