University of Iowa

Planning A Novel: Making a Map and Avoiding Monsters

Weeklong July 15 to July 20 2018

Sometimes a short story can be drafted in a great surge of inspiration, but a novel is a different kind of literary beast. How do we prepare ourselves to keep a story going over several hundred pages? What do we need to know in advance, and what might we hope to discover along the way? In this workshop, we will think about the journeys our characters take over the course of the novel and look at how those journeys drive the narrative action. Using exercises, and taking inspiration from a variety of models, we will help each other design engines powerful enough to carry us through to The End. Whether you’ve been drafting your novel for years or are just dreaming up a new story, this class will help you clarify your ideas and build a strong foundation for the work ahead.