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NVL 18 W — Discovering Your Novel's Secret Center

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 25—Dec 8
Drop Deadline: Sep 28
Units: 3
Tuition: $880
Instructor(s): Sarah Stone
Limit: 17
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class the week of November 20. Update: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 9/28 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 10/3 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Fall
Date(s)
Sep 25—Dec 8
10 weeks
Drop By
Sep 28
3 Units
Fees
$880
Instructor(s):
Sarah Stone
Limit
17
Closed
Please Note: No class the week of November 20. Update: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 9/28 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 10/3 at 5:00 pm (PT).
According to Orhan Pamuk, every novel has a secret center—a “profound opinion or insight about life, a deeply embedded point of mystery, whether real or imagined.” In this course, for writers at all levels, you will have the chance to discover your novel’s secret center—its one-of-a-kind nature—along with ways to adapt both classic and innovative craft techniques to your own needs. We will discuss short novels by Jeanette Winterson and Daniel Alarcón, and do weekly writing exercises (optional after week four when workshops will begin). We will start with the premises and strategies of openings; explore how to find the right voice and point of view for your novel; create outlines and alternative methods of plot discovery; depict individual characters and character constellations; and handle time, place, language, and imagery. We will finish up with work on endings and revision. As a community, we will give each writer supportive, helpful feedback on writing exercises and a selection of up to 5,000 words of a novel-in-progress, working together to discover each novel’s largest possibilities. By the end of the course, you will have new craft techniques, a deeper sense of your novel, and a plan for moving forward.

Sarah Stone, Faculty, Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers

Sarah Stone is the author of the novel The True Sources of the Nile and co-author of the textbook Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, StoryQuarterly, The Believer, the Writer’s Chronicle, Dedicated to the People of Darfur, and A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft, among other places. She received an MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Jeanette Winterson, The Passion (ISBN 0802135226)
(Required) Daniel Alarcón, At Night We Walk in Circles: A Novel (ISBN 1594632839)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)