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Six-Month Spark: Plan and Build Your Novel with David Stuart MacLean

$1,750.00 · January 11

Before you take the plunge for Novel in a Year, join us for the Six-Month Spark.

Start Date

January 11

Class Times

6:30pm – 9:00pm CT

Day(s) of the Week





Zoom (online)




In stock


Thinking about Novel in a Year? You just might need a little Six-Month Spark to get you ready!

Whether you are ready to take your novel idea to the next level or you’re already writing but need support and accountability, this six-month program is designed to get you writing and keep you writing! We’ll turn those sparks of inspiration into scenes, chapters, and drafts to prepare you for success in the long haul that is finishing your novel. With craft talks and discussions, interactive writing activities and assignments, and plenty of workshop opportunities, this six-month cohort will give you everything you need to take your work to the next level.


This six-month class is open to all genres and will meet twice a month:

  1. One monthly class session will be devoted to craft discussions and generative in-class writing exercises.
  2. The second monthly class session will focus on workshop opportunities and revision activities.

No applications necessary. First come, first served for registration. Maximum of 12 students.


Specific topics covered during class include:

  • Characters and Characterization
  • Creating and Maintaining Dramatic Tension
  • Establishing Setting to Support Plot
  • Opening and Closing Chapters
  • Narrative Voice and Point of View
  • Revision as Writing, Writing as Revision
  • Choosing a Compelling Excerpt

By the end of our time together, writers will have developed the voices and scenes that bring stories to life on the page and firmly established a focused, responsive, and productive strategy to getting their story on the page.

This program also includes a one-on-one half hour meeting with the instructor outside of class time. Prior to this meeting, students can submit up to 30 pages of manuscript for one-on-one critique, line edits, and comprehensive verbal feedback. Students may also use this meeting time for personalized strategy discussion or planning.


Including, but not limited to:

  • Novelists who are in the beginning stages of their projects, or in the middle, who want to develop their ideas and pages further.
  • Novelists who want to prepare for one of our Novel in a Year programs.
  • Novelists who have taken a previous course with us (Creative Writing Essentials, Jumpstart Your Novel, Over the Hump, etc.)

Class roster is limited to 12 students.

Class Dates are the second and fourth Thursday of every month, for a total of 12 sessions:

January 11 and 25

February 8 and 22

March 14 and 28

April 11 and 25

May 9 and 23

June 13 and 27

Payment plans available upon request.

About David Stuart MacLean

David Stuart MacLean is a PEN/American award-winning essayist. His essays and stories have been featured in The New York Times, the Guardian UK, Newsweek, Ploughshares, and on the radio program, This American Life. His memoir The Answer to the Riddle Is Me was named by Kirkus Review as one of the Best Books of 2014. He co-founded the award-winning Poison Pen Reading Series in Houston, TX.