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OWC 304 B — Novel II: Plot and Structure

Quarter: Spring
Course Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 3—Jun 9
Drop Deadline: Apr 16
Units: 3
Tuition: $990
Instructor(s): Thomas McNeely
Limit: 14
Status: Open
Spring
Date(s)
Apr 3—Jun 9
10 weeks
Drop By
Apr 16
3 Units
Fees
$990
Instructor(s):
Thomas McNeely
Limit
14
Open
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.

In this course, students will focus on how to create and sustain the “long middle” of their novels, continuing their journey toward the completion of their manuscript. The long middle is the area where plot and structure of the novel are most important, because we may have lost that burst of energy that propelled our beginnings, but the end is not yet in sight. This course will teach students how to continue building suspense and intensity past the inciting incident by alternating between different subplots and points of view, to ensure modulation; and framing scenes and chapters for maximum tension, to keep readers turning pages.

Thomas McNeely, Former Jones Lecturer and Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Thomas McNeely’s stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and a variety of other magazines and anthologies. His work has been short-listed for The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, and the Pushcart Prize. In 2008, he received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Prose. His first novel, Ghost Horse, was published in 2014. McNeely received an MFA from Emerson College.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Tobias Wolff, Old School (ISBN 978-0375701498)
(Required) Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake: A Novel (ISBN 978-0618485222)
(Required) Stephen Koch , The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop (ISBN 978-0375755583)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)