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NVL 199 — Novel Workshop for Manuscripts in Progress: Plot and Structure

Quarter: Summer
Instructor(s): Ron Nyren
Duration: 10 weeks
Format/Location: Live Online
Date(s): Jun 25—Aug 27
Class Recording Available: Yes
Class Meeting Day: Tuesdays
 
Class Meeting Time: 6:30—9:20 pm (PT)
Tuition: $745
   
Refund Deadline: Jun 27
 
Unit(s): 3
   
Enrollment Limit: 21
  
Status: Closed
 
Quarter: Summer
Day: Tuesdays
Duration: 10 weeks
Time: 6:30—9:20 pm (PT)
Date(s): Jun 25—Aug 27
Unit(s): 3
Format/Location: Live Online
 
Tuition: $745
 
Refund Deadline: Jun 27
 
Instructor(s): Ron Nyren
 
Enrollment Limit: 21
 
Recording Available: Yes
 
Status: Closed
 
A beautifully constructed book never happens by accident: every writer needs methods of experimentation and a resilient plan of action. Whether you are wading through a marshy swamp in the middle of your book, trying to balance multiple POVs, wondering how to link your short stories into a novel, or dealing with a different challenge, this course will give you tools for structuring your book. We will cover plots, subplots, alternate structures, premises, story or chapter sequencing, and the handling of time and backstory. The course is open to any writer with previous workshop experience and a book in progress, including traditional or experimental novels and novels-in-stories. We will read novels by Jessica Au and Joan Silber, to see how they create memorable characters and meaningful predicaments, and use in-class writing exercises to practice new techniques and make discoveries. For workshop, each student can turn in a portion of their book (up to 5,000 words). By the end of the course, you will possess a deeper sense of your book and a plan for your next steps.

RON NYREN
Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Ron Nyren’s novel The Book of Lost Light received Black Lawrence Press’s 2019 Big Moose Prize and was a finalist for the 2020 David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction. His fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, The North American Review, Glimmer Train Stories, Mississippi Review, and 100 Word Story, and his stories have been shortlisted for the O. Henry Award and the Pushcart Prize. He is the co-author, with Sarah Stone, of Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers. He received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Jessica Au, Cold Enough for Snow (ISBN 978-0811231558)
(Required) Joan Silber, Improvement (ISBN 978-1640091139)