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OWC 303 B — Novel I: The Powerful Beginning

Quarter: Winter
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 10—Mar 18
Refund Deadline: Jan 13
Units: 3
Tuition: $1120
Instructor(s): Sarah Stone
Limit: 18
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Registration opens Nov 29, 8:30 am (PT)
 
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Winter
Flex Online(About Formats)
Date(s)
Jan 10—Mar 18
10 weeks
Refund Date
Jan 13
3 Units
Fees
$1120
Instructor(s):
Sarah Stone
Limit
18
Recording
No
Registration opens Nov 29, 8:30 am (PT)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
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.

SARAH STONE
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:

(Recommended) Charles Baxter, The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot (ISBN 978-1555974732)
(Recommended) Joan Silber, The Art of Time in Fiction: As Long as It Takes (ISBN 978-1555975302)
(Recommended) Daniel Alarcon, The Secret Miracle: The Novelist's Handbook (ISBN 978-0805087147)