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OWC 303 A — Novel I: The Powerful Beginning

Quarter: Winter
Course Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 16—Mar 23
Drop Deadline: Jan 19
Units: 3
Tuition: $1050
Instructor(s): Malena Watrous
Limit: 15
Status: Registration opens on 12/04/2017
Winter
Date(s)
Jan 16—Mar 23
10 weeks
Drop By
Jan 19
3 Units
Fees
$1050
Instructor(s):
Malena Watrous
Limit
15
Registration opens on 12/04/2017
This course is not open to the public, but rather by admission only. For more information on the Online Writing Certificate Program and its application process, please click here.

The beginning of a novel is crucial: establishing a contract with the reader, raising narrative questions, setting the tone and mood of the book, and, of course, introducing the main characters. We will begin by making sure that your novel starts in the right place, with a conflict compelling enough to reveal who these people are, and to ensure that they are making meaningful choices that lead to dramatic action. The challenges that our characters face up front help us to know who they are at the beginning of a book, and also set up expectations for how they might change by the end. Students will spend time thinking about the trajectory they envision not only for their protagonists but also for the secondary characters, and discussing issues related to characterization, such as point of view, dialogue, and voice. In this course, everyone will write and workshop an opening section of up to 5000 words.

Malena Watrous, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford; Online Writing Lead Instructor, Stanford Continuing Studies

Malena Watrous is the author of the novel If You Follow Me, which received a Michener-Copernicus award. She frequently reviews books for such publications as The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. She received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Sol Stein, How To Grow A Novel (ISBN 0312267495)
(Required) Lisa Cron, Story Genius (ISBN 1607748894)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)