Narrative Writing Class: The Nature of Narrative (Spring 2024)


The Nature of Narrative: Spring Creative Writing Class

The Nature of Narrative will introduce you to the essential building blocks of dramatic writing, whether in fiction, nonfiction or film. The alternating pattern of scene and sequel forms the basis of all dramatic writing, pulling readers into your story and not letting them go until the end. This eight-session course will show you how to incorporate these techniques in your own work to provide drama, pacing, tension and resolution in your creative nonfiction, short stories, novels and memoirs.

The Seattle writing course will run on Wednesday evenings March 27, April 1 (Monday) April 3, 10, 17, 24, May 1, 8; from 7 to 9 p.m. PST via Zoom and at least one in person hybrid meeting in Room 221 of the Good Shepherd Center in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood (4649 Sunnyside Avenue North).

In addition to the classroom work, I’ll schedule individual conferences with each of you. This will give me a chance to go over your story or book chapter with you one-on-one and suggest ways to improve it. There will be six assignments:

  • 150-word story idea or book concept statement.
  • 250-word stimulus-response scene.
  • 150-word character sketch.
  • 1500- to 2500-word story or book chapter and its revision.
  • Creation of a blog, website, Amazon author page or Facebook page.

Texts: Jack Bickham’s Scene and Structure and Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It. Both titles are available at the Elliott Bay Book Company.

To enroll, you can pay via Venmo, send a check for $675 to Nick O’Connell, 201 Newell St., Seattle, WA 98109 or click on the Buy Now button below to pay with a credit card. The course is limited to 15 participants and usually fills several weeks prior to the start of class. For more information, contact me at or call 206-284-7121.


  • Scene and Structure by Jack Bickham