A five-week novel writing intensive for writers with an idea or part of a novel who are ready to take their novel projects to the next level.
What makes a great story? What makes an unforgettable character? And how do the components of good fiction come together in a novel? Many novel writing courses focus on the first starts, but what skills do we need to sustain, develop, and finish our stories to make them thrilling, masterful, and ready for publication? This course is designed to motivate, inspire, and provide writers with a toolkit for engaging with the fundamentals of novel writing, and launching seriously into their novel projects.
We’ll discuss how to make writing bold, vital, and realistic, how to craft and sustain narrative and thematic threads, and how to outline and structure the novel. We will read chapters of novels from authors including Toni Morrison, Graham Greene, Miriam Toews, and Anthony Doerr, as well as short stories to study style and language.
This course will have weekly lessons and Zoom discussions, as well as regular short writing assignments designed to get you thinking about your novel. There will be a workshop component in the final week in which you’ll receive instructor critiques and students will read and critique each others’ novel excerpts.
- In-depth peer and instructor feedback on an excerpt of your novel
- One private conference (via Zoom) with the instructor to discuss areas for improvement and where to go from here
- An enthusiastic community of writers who will hold you accountable to your writing goals
An outline for your novel, with ideas for how to shape the story and where to head after the first chapter
Strategies for staying productive and keeping the novel going in the future
Week One: Story Structure and Constructing a Scene
Week Two: Language and Voice: How to Tell Your Story
Week Three: First Chapters: Laying the Foundation
Week Four: Building Character
Week Five: Outlining Your Novel and Planning for the Road Ahead
WHAT DOES THIS CLASS INCLUDE?
Outside reading: Approx. 1 novel chapter (20 pgs) per week; 1 optional full-length novel over the course of the 5 weeks. Authors include Toni Morrison, Miriam Toews, Anthony Doerr, Raymond Chandler, Andrew Sean Greer.