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NVL 18 W — Discovering Your Novel's Secret Center

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 23—Dec 6
Drop Deadline: Sep 26
Units: 3
Tuition: $910
Instructor(s): Sarah Stone
Limit: 17
Status: Open
Please Note: No class the week of November 25

Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is September 26th at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is October 1st at 5:00 pm (PT).
Fall
Date(s)
Sep 23—Dec 6
10 weeks
Drop By
Sep 26
3 Units
Fees
$910
Instructor(s):
Sarah Stone
Limit
17
Open
Please Note: No class the week of November 25

Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is September 26th at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is October 1st 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 novels by Jeanette Winterson and Zadie Smith and do weekly writing exercises (optional after week three, 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 our novels; create outlines and alternative methods of plot discovery; depict individual characters and character constellations; and handle time, place, language, and imagery. We will finish 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 MFA Program for Writers

Sarah Stone is the author of the novels Hungry Ghost Theater and The True Sources of the Nile and co-author, with Ron Nyren, of Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers. Her writing has appeared in Ploughshares, StoryQuarterly, The Millions, Scoundrel Time, The Believer, and A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft, among other publications. She received an MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Zadie Smith, On Beauty: A Novel (ISBN 0143037749)
(Required) Jeanette Winterson, The Passion (ISBN 0802135226)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)