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NVL 26 W — How Characters Create Plot: A Novel-Writing Workshop

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 20—Dec 3
Refund Deadline: Sep 23
Units: 3
Tuition: $910
Instructor(s): Sarah Stone
Limit: 17
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class the week of November 22
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Sep 20—Dec 3
10 weeks
Refund Date
Sep 23
3 Units
Sarah Stone
Please Note: No class the week of November 22
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Memorable and vivid novels result from creating complex, one-of-a-kind characters whose relationships and actions drive the story arc. This is true whether you’re writing a literary novel or a page-turning genre story. In this course, weekly craft lectures and writing exercises will give students the tools to discover new layers to their characters and make their fiction more dynamic. We will study how plot turns arise from character choices in novels by Celeste Ng and Penelope Fitzgerald, along with selections from works by Ruth Ozeki, Michael Cunningham, Joan Silber, and Toni Morrison. We will consider how to develop the right voice and structure for your novel, build compelling scenes with convincing dialogue, and interweave place, time, and perspective in ways that reveal your book’s themes and help bring it to life. Each student will submit up to 5,000 words for honest, supportive workshop feedback from the instructor and fellow students. Whether you are just starting out or have been working on your novel for some time, you will come away with new craft tools, a stronger sense of your novel’s nature, and a plan for your next steps.

Author; MFA Instructor

Sarah Stone is the author of Hungry Ghost Theater, a finalist for the 38th Annual Northern California Book Awards, 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 work has appeared in Ploughshares, StoryQuarterly, The Millions, Scoundrel Time, The Believer, A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft, and elsewhere. She received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You, Any edition or format (ISBN 9780349134284)
(Required) Penelope Fitzgerald, At Freddie's, Any edition or format (ISBN 9780395956182)