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Winter Quarter

Winter Registration Opens Nov 29
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NVL 29 W — Novel Writing Without Tears

Quarter: Winter
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 10—Mar 18
Refund Deadline: Jan 13
Units: 3
Tuition: $910
Instructor(s): Valerie Brelinski
Limit: 17
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens Nov 29, 8:30 am (PT)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Flex Online(About Formats)
Jan 10—Mar 18
10 weeks
Refund Date
Jan 13
3 Units
Valerie Brelinski
Registration opens Nov 29, 8:30 am (PT)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Does the idea of writing a novel seem both exciting and terrifying? Are you equally thrilled and daunted at the prospect of trying to turn your story ideas into something resembling a book-length manuscript? This course will help relieve your fears by showing you just how a novel is organized and by dividing the novel-writing process into manageable portions of writing. Our weekly mini-lessons will teach you how to recognize your own story’s inciting incident, raise its physical and emotional stakes, and shape its raw material into a cohesive, tension-raising structure, while our daily writing exercises will give you practice in creating fascinating, plot-provoking characters and settings that do much more than describe time and place. We will workshop sections from our emergent novels, and also hone those all-important, agent-attracting opening pages. In addition, we will closely examine the novel The North Water by Ian McGuire, and receive expert instruction from Donald Maass’s craft book, Writing the Breakout Novel. No matter how incipient your novel-writing desire (or entrenched your fear!), this course will provide you with the tools and confidence to help bring your dream novel to fruition.

Former Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer, Stanford

Valerie Brelinski is the author of the novel The Girl Who Slept with God. She is currently finishing her first memoir, Minimum Security, an examination of her first husband’s incarceration for bank robbery. Her shorter writing has been published in Vogue, More, Salon, Publishers Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Fiction, The Rumpus, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. Brelinski has taught creative writing at Stanford, UC Davis, and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA in fiction writing.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Donald Maass, Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques for Exceptional Storytelling (ISBN 978-1599634005)
(Required) Ian McGuire, The North Water: A Novel (ISBN 978-1250118141)