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"The Architecture of a Scene: How to Craft a Vivid Scene from Beginning to End" with Chaitali Sen

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ACC Highland Campus, rm 2105
6101 Airport Blvd.
Austin, TX 78752

10/15/2016 From 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM


$49 for members (log in for member pricing)

$109 for nonmembers

Online registration is now closed for this event.

If you wish to attend, there are still a few seats available for purchase at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early and pay with exact cash or check (made out to Writers' League of Texas). The walk-up rate is $59 for members and $119 for nonmembers - as long as seats are available. Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.


When writers are told to show, not tell, it often means turning a statement into a dramatic scene: a set of characters doing something in a particular place at a particular time. Vivid scenes allow the reader to live in the world of your story and become so enthralled with the action they can’t wait to turn the page. In short, well-crafted scenes make a work memorable.

In this half-day class for writers of both fiction and memoir, students will analyze a few complete scenes from literature and use the same elements to craft their own scenes from beginning to end. Discussion will focus on

  • how to enter and stage a scene

  • how to introduce conflict and create tension

  • how to lengthen a scene in order to do more with less

  • how to make the scene come alive on the page

  • and how to exit a scene on the right note.

Students will also have a chance to discuss their struggles with writing good scenes and brainstorm ideas to get past their blocks. The goal is to go home with a draft of a scene that can become an anchor for crafting more scenes.


About the instructor:

Chaitali Sen is the author of The Pathless Sky, published by Europa Editions in 2015. Born in India and raised in New York and Pennsylvania, she currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and stepson. Her short stories, reviews, and essays have appeared in New England Review, New Ohio Review, Colorado Review, The Aerogram, Los Angeles Review of Books, and other journals. She is a graduate of the Hunter College MFA program in Fiction.

REGISTRATION BY MAIL: If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click HERE for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it.

NOTE: Once a purchase has been made, tickets are not refundable and registration cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at or 512-499-8914 and let us know so that we can update the class roster. For policies, please visit our Classes page.

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at


Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to

The Writers' League of Texas would like to thank Austin Community College for its generous support and commitment to community, ongoing education, and the arts. Visit