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NVL 06 W — Novel Writing for Absolute Beginners

Quarter: Summer
Instructor(s): Angela Pneuman
Duration: 10 weeks
Format/Location: Flex Online
Date(s): Jun 24—Aug 30
Class Recording Available: Yes
Tuition: $1000
Refund Deadline: Jun 27
 
Unit(s): 3
   
Enrollment Limit: 19
  
Status: Open
 
Quarter: Summer
Unit(s): 3
Duration: 10 weeks
 
Date(s): Jun 24—Aug 30
 
Format/Location: Flex Online
 
Tuition: $1000
 
Refund Deadline: Jun 27
 
Instructor(s): Angela Pneuman
 
Enrollment Limit: 19
 
Recording Available: Yes
 
Status: Open
 
Starting a novel is an exciting venture—and one that can soon turn daunting. Unlike the compressed energy of a short story, the novel’s world spools out over time and often involves the management of layered plots and a large cast of characters. But these challenges are also opportunities. In this course, we will look at published novel beginnings to discover the narrative engines of the early chapters. We will also investigate the way writers such as Brit Bennett, Samantha Harvey, Scott Turow, and Jhumpa Lahiri maintain narrative tension throughout their books. We will talk about how this tension shapes finished work from these writers and from students’ own favorite writers. Through short writing assignments, we will try out different approaches to our own novel beginnings, and each student will be able to workshop one early chapter for helpful feedback.

This course is designed for writers who are just starting out on their novels, as well as those who have novels well underway and are already thinking about revision.

ANGELA PNEUMAN
Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford; MFA Instructor, Sarah Lawrence College; Executive Director, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference

Angela Pneuman is the author of the novel Lay It on My Heart and the short story collection Home Remedies. Her fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, Glimmer Train, The Virginia Quarterly Review, New England Review, and Ploughshares, and she is a contributor to Salon, The Believer, and The Rumpus. She received a PhD in English from SUNY Albany.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Stephen Koch, The Modern Library Writers' Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction (ISBN 978-0375755583)