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Course Catalog

Finding Plot in Character

If I teach nothing in my writing classes, I teach this: do not outline your novel or novella or short story or essay or memoir. Do not think out the plot, the narrative arc, the protagonist’s journey, whatever you want to call it. Instead, try to find the story through an honest excavation of the characters’ total experience of the situation in which they find themselves. Do that, and I promise the story will begin to write itself, with little need for the controlling hand of the godly, intelligent, well-read, and ambitious author. But how, precisely, does one go about this “excavation”? And how, technically speaking, can we ignite a story into “writing itself”? Come to this workshop, and I will seek to demystify those writerly tools and skills that time and time again, if they are sharp enough, and if the writer can summon enough daily faith and nerve, can penetrate the mystery of story itself.

Instructor: Andre Dubus III

Class Type: 1 Session

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Term: Winter 2019

Start Date: 03/20/2019

Days of the Week: Wednesday

Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Minimum Class Size: 5

$180.00 Member Price:
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$200.00 General Price:

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Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III is the author of The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, Bluesman, and the New York Times bestsellers, House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days (soon to be a major motion picture) and his memoir, Townie, a #4 New York Times bestseller and a New York Times "Editors Choice". His work has been included in The Best American Essays and The Best Spiritual Writing anthologies, and his novel, House of Sand and Fog was a finalist for the National Book Award, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and was made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. His novella collection, Dirty Love, was published in the fall of 2013 and was listed as a “Notable Book” by The Washington Post and The New York Times, and was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice”, and a Kirkus “Starred Best Book of 2013”. His new novel, Gone So Long, published in October 2018, has received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal and has been named on many “Best Books” lists, including selection for The Boston Globe’s “Twenty Best Books of 2018” and “The Best Books of 2018”, “Top 100”, Amazon.
Mr. Dubus has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, Two Pushcart Prizes, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children.

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