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NVL 21 — Becoming a High-Velocity Writer: National Novel Writing Month

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 28—Dec 7
Time: 6:30—9:20 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 11
Unit(s): 3 Units
Tuition: $650
Limit: 21
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 23
On campus
6:30—9:20 pm
Sep 28—Dec 7
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 11
3 Units
Please Note: No class on November 23
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is the world’s largest creative writing event—a literary marathon that inspires 400,000 people to bash out a novel every November. More than a dozen bestsellers, from Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus to Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, started out as NaNoWriMo manuscripts. In this course, students will plan and write their own 50,000-word novel drafts. We will spend September and October reviewing key storytelling concepts, including three-act structure, character arc, tone, and point of view. Students will also receive an arsenal of outlining tips and writing tools to prepare their books (and lives!) for November.

Come November, we will dive into a month of literary abandon. Students will write the bulk of their books outside of class, but we’ll come together every week for pep talks, word-count check-ins, plot-doctoring sessions, momentum-boosting activities, guest lectures from successful NaNoWriMo authors, and in-class writing sprints. The course will conclude with a party, where we’ll share passages from our new books. Students will leave class with a 50,000-word first draft and a reinvigorated sense of creative momentum.

Chris Baty, Author; Journalist

Chris Baty is the author of No Plot? No Problem! and the co-author of the Ready, Set, Novel workbook. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Afar, Via, Believer, and in Lonely Planet guidebooks. As the founder of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Baty has helped hundreds of thousands of writers set aside their fears and fall in love with writing.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Chris Baty, No Plot? No Problem!, Revised edition (2014) (ISBN 1452124779)