The first draft of any short story is largely explorative: finding out what the story will be by writing it. But what happens next? Once you have created a first draft, necessarily flawed, how do you revise it into a polished, powerful story? Many writers are daunted by this task, and many stories falter at the threshold of the second, or third, or final draft. In this class, we will treat revision as a series of steps, rather than a single, sweeping transformation. We will break break stories down into their component parts and talk about how to use each aspect of fiction to greatest effect: setting, pacing, tension, character, dialogue, and more.
Abby Geni is the author of the novels The Wildlands and The Lightkeepers, as well as a short story collection, The Last Animal. Her books have been translated into seven languages and have won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and the Chicago Review of Books Awards, among other honors. Her latest novel, The Wildlands, was named one of the best books of 2018 by Kirkus and Buzzfeed and was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize. Geni is a faculty member at StoryStudio Chicago and recently served as Visiting Associate Professor of Fiction at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.
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