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OWC 303 A — Novel I: The Powerful Beginning

Quarter: Winter
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 11—Mar 19
Drop Deadline: Jan 14
Units: 3
Tuition: $1120
Instructor(s): Malena Watrous
Limit: 18
Status: Registration opens Nov 30, 8:30 am (PT)
Winter
Flex Online(About Formats)
Date(s)
Jan 11—Mar 19
10 weeks
Drop By
Jan 14
3 Units
Fees
$1120
Instructor(s):
Malena Watrous
Limit
18
Registration opens Nov 30, 8:30 am (PT)
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; Online Writing Certificate Program Lead and Creative Writing Coordinator, Stanford Continuing Studies

Malena Watrous is the author of the novel If You Follow Me and co-author of the novel Sparked. She has contributed to The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. She received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Lisa Cron, Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (ISBN 978-1607748892)
(Required) Rufi Thorpe, The Knockout Queen: A novel (ISBN 978-0525567295)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)