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NVL 134 — Novel Writing

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 27—Dec 6
Time: 6:30—9:20 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 10
Unit(s): 3 Units
Tuition: $650
Limit: 21
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 22
Fall
On campus
Tuesdays
6:30—9:20 pm
Date(s)
Sep 27—Dec 6
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 10
3 Units
Fees
$650
Limit
21
Closed
Please Note: No class on November 22
Novel writing is a process—an interim way of life—and should not be regarded as either easy or daunting. Taken in steps, the journey can and does happen, often with great vision and beauty. This course will address all stages of the novel-writing process, from choosing the most effective narrative point of view to managing and orchestrating the material. Although the course will discuss essential aspects of the novel, it will focus primarily on student work, including drafts of chapters as well as anything that supports and predicts the overarching narrative, such as research and outlines. Controlling narrative voice and pacing, handling scenes with dramatic force, developing character and motivation, composing dialogue that is not only real-sounding but productive, and keeping the plot from lugging down—these are some of the many issues that will likely come up during the course. We will also read from a collection of interviews with novelists like Faulkner, Hemingway, Eudora Welty, and Robert Stone to help expand our understanding of fiction writing both as a calling and as a practice. Each student will contribute one to two chapters for the course.

Lynn Stegner, Author

Lynn Stegner has published four novels and a collection of stories. Undertow and Fata Morgana were both nominated for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and Pipers at the Gates of Dawn was awarded a Faulkner Society Gold Medal. Her novel Because a Fire Was in My Head was named Best Novel in the 2005 William Wisdom/William Faulkner Competition and a New York Times Editors’ Choice. She has received fellowships from the Western States Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Fulbright Scholarship to Ireland. Stegner’s volume of short stories, For All the Obvious Reasons, was published earlier this year.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Philip Gourevitch (Editor), The Paris Review Interviews Volume I (ISBN 978-0-312-36175-4 (v.1))
(Required) Philip Gourevitch (Editor), The Paris Review Interviews Volume II (ISBN 978-0-312-36314-7 (v.2))
(Required) Philip Gourevitch (Editor), The Paris Review Interviews Volume III (ISBN 978-0-312-36315-4 (v.3))
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)