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OWC 304 C — Novel II: Plot and Structure

Quarter: Spring
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Mar 29—Jun 4
Refund Deadline: Apr 1
Units: 3
Tuition: $1120
Instructor(s): Thomas McNeely
Limit: 17
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Mar 29—Jun 4
10 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 1
3 Units
Thomas McNeely
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.

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 is the author of the novel Ghost Horse. His stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and other magazines and anthologies. His work has been shortlisted 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. McNeely received an MFA from Emerson College.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Tobias Wolff, Old School (ISBN 978-0375701498)
(Required) Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake (ISBN 978-0618485222)
(Required) Stephen Koch, The Modern Library Writers' Workshop (ISBN 978-0375755583)