Novel

Weeklong June 17 to June 22 2018

We often write short stories by the seats of our pants, with a combination of intuition and curiosity. In fact, this might be the best way to approach a short piece of prose. But a longer work is a different animal. While all writing should be a process of discovery, for many writers a novel needs a bit more planning. In this class, we will examine the structures of several (rather short) novels and discuss the choices made by the authors.

“The house of fiction has many windows, but only two or three doors. I can tell a story in the third person or in the first person, and perhaps the second person singular, or in the first-person plural, though successful examples of these latter two are rare indeed. And that is it. Anything else probably will not much resemble narration; it may be closer to poetry, or prose-poetry.”     

Weekend July 14 to July 15 2018

T.S. Eliot once said, “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” In storytelling, this couldn’t be more true as we face new moments and fresh beginnings over and over whenever we start a new story, a new chapter, or even a new scene. And fresh beginnings mean questions. Where should this novel begin, with a prologue or in medias res? How should I open my memoir? Where should this next chapter or scene pick up to smoothly transition from the scene before it?

Weekend June 16 to June 17 2018

You’ve typed “The End” on the first draft of a novel in all its messy glory, and now the daunting task of revising and editing hundreds of pages sits before you. Where to start? Which problem to tackle first, and how? This class is for fiction writers with a working draft of a novel-in-progress at any stage in need of revision. The goal of our weekend is to develop some organization in revising and an understanding of particular revision strategies.

Weeklong July 08 to July 13 2018

This class will focus on the novel-writing process. Come prepared to discuss a novel you’re already working on, even if it’s still in the planning stages. In a whirlwind week, we will work through the major issues novelists face -- the instigating event, characterization, structure, and suspense. This class is not structured as a workshop. We won’t be looking at chapters you’ve already written. Rather, you will generate new work this week both in and out of class and share these pages with your fellow writers in class.

In today’s market, the romance genre is one of the strongest and most enduring forms of fiction, with 2013 sales of over one billion dollars. Readers return again and again to lose themselves in the immersive world of romance. What brings them back and why do they remain loyal to this genre?

 

One of the most essential components of writing and selling fiction is how quickly and strongly you’re able to snare your audience. Having a strong hook is not only a good marketing strategy, it can also improve and strengthen your writing. In this workshop, we will discuss ways to sell our books to readers, agents, editors, and ourselves with highly-crafted, sharply-honed hooks and elevator pitches.

If you are writing, want to write, or have drafted a novel, you are thinking of All Those Pages. But the secret to a novel that flies is a novel you can talk about, a novel that can be compressed to the gem it is. Learn how to capture the essence of a story in a few clear sentences; further, analyze it as a scheme of component parts. That’s your way into revising, and it’s your way into telling someone they really should read it. Then write a summary that is your play-book.

This workshop assumes that you have been developing your novel for a while. You may have a draft or an outline completed. Either way, you should have an overview of the story and several chapters that you are ready to revise. The goal of the week is to develop an understanding of revision strategies, and to practice, with feedback.

Agency is the word for a character’s central role in pushing a story forward. Often a first draft traps us in a story with characters who are victims, who are passive, or who just can’t figure out what to do next. But responsibility for one’s own fate is a big part of making a character memorable. How do you assess your protagonist’s agency, especially if your character is in trouble?