Course Catalog

Creating Tension in Prose

All Levels | Tension is one of the main driving forces of narrative—it’s the thing that keeps the reader turning the page, the addictive quality that makes people stay up past their bedtime to see what happens next. In this course, we’ll explore how tension works in relation to plot, narrative arc, character development, and pacing, looking at examples from stories like Carmen Maria Machado’s “The Husband Stitch” and essays like Lidia Yuknavitch’s “Woven.” Through in-class exercises and games, we’ll work on how to build, maintain, and finally relieve tension, whether
it’s over the course of a short scene or epic novel.

Beginning Fall 2021, we will be adding select in-person classes back to our course catalog. The majority of our classes will still be offered via Zoom.

If a class says IN-PERSON in its title, it will take place in person at our permanent home in Seattle.

If a class says ASYNCHRONOUS in its title, it will take place on Wet Ink, our asynchronous learning platform.

If a class does not have a marker after its title, it will take place via Zoom.

Instructor: Becky Mandelbaum

Class Type: 4 Sessions

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Start Date: 10/27/2018

End Date: 11/17/2018

Days of the Week: Saturday

Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm PDT

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 15

$211.50 Member Price:
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$235.00 General Price:

Class has begun, registration is closed.

Becky Mandelbaum

Becky Mandelbaum is the author of Bad Kansas (University of Georgia Press, 2017), which received the 2016 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and is a finalist for the 2018 High Plains Book Award for First Book. Her work has appeared in The Missouri Review, The Georgia Review, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, Necessary Fiction, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and elsewhere. Originally from Kansas, she currently lives in Washington’s Skagit Valley.

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