In this course, which is more seminar than workshop, you’ll learn the basics of novel craft, with a focus on plot, structure, and character. We’ll discuss how authors build and use dramatic tension to compel the story forward; we’ll also cover traps beginning novelists should avoid. This class will be most helpful to writers new to the novel, including beginning writers and writers wanting to attempt a new form. Whether you have a number of pages but aren’t sure where they are going, or just an idea you’ve been meaning to get down on paper, you’ll leave this weekend with new writing and a plan for moving forward with your novel.
Margaret Patton Chapman is the author of a novella-in-flash, Bell and Bargain, published in 2014 as part of the collection My Very End of the Universe. Her very short fiction has appeared in Wigleaf, The Collagist, Smokelong, and the anthology The Way We Sleep, among others, and her music and arts reporting has been published in the Independent Weekly and the Austin Chronicle. She received her M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and taught writing as a Visiting Professor at Indiana University South Bend. She is prose editor for decomP magazine and lives in Durham, NC. Find more of her work at margaretpattonchapman.com.