Class: Emotional Storytelling in Action Scenes

Instructor: Michael R. Underwood

Next class date: Sunday, April 18, 2021, 1:00-3:00 PM Pacific Time.

Characterization and the emotional arc of a novel don’t step aside when the blasters start firing or people start throwing punches. The best action storytelling uses chases, misadventure, and fight scenes to foreground emotion, to show characters making big choices based on their feelings. Instead, the best action stories include the audience in the emotional rollercoaster of the characters. This class will talk through techniques for using action scenes to advance the plot and the emotional journey of your characters and how to make sure that the scenes are far more than choreography and flashy explosions.


Classes are limited to 15 students. They are taught online and require reliable Internet connection, although in the past participants have logged on from coffee shops, cafes, and even an airplane; a webcam is suggested but not required. Classes are recorded for the benefit of class members only.

Cost is $99 ($79 for returning students and Patreon supporters, which includes classes/workshops with me in other venues, such as conference or convention workshops and mentoring sessions).

To register for this class, send an email with the following details:

  • Which class or classes and the dates you would like to register
  • Whether you would prefer to pay via Paypal, Venmo, or some other means.
  • Whether or not you are a former student or Patreon supporter
  • How you heard about Cat’s classes

You will be invoiced when the class slot is reserved.

Free scholarships: If you cannot afford a class but really want to take one, apply for a Plunkett Scholarship. Each class has three slots reserved for such students, and the sole criteria is only that you can’t currently afford the class. To apply for a Plunkett, which covers the entire cost,mail me and tell me why you want to take the class in 100 words or less. QUILTBAG and PoC candidates are especially encouraged to apply. The Plunkett Scholarships are named for Edward Plunkett, who wrote as Lord Dunsany. Scholarships are given out on a rolling basis; I suggest getting them in sooner rather than later. You may apply for multiple classes.

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