University of Iowa

Shake up Your Novel

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. Even if you’re fairly deep into a draft of a novel, the session will help you shake up that draft and see it in a new light. We’ll use exercises to tighten and intensify your plot, bring your characters into focus, and explore your setting. We will analyze a published novel and read novel excerpts for inspiration and illumination in our discussions of craft. Plan to return home energized and full of ideas about where to take your novel next.