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NVL 134 — Novel Writing

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 26—Dec 5
Time: 6:30—9:20 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 9
Units: 3
Tuition: $660
Instructor(s): Lynn Stegner
Limit: 21
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 21
On-campus course
6:30—9:20 pm
Sep 26—Dec 5
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 9
3 Units
Lynn Stegner
Please Note: No class on November 21
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 such as William Faulkner, Ernest 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 a New York Times Editors’ Choice. She received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Fulbright Scholarship to Ireland.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Intro by Philip Gourevitch, The Paris Review Interviews Vol. I (ISBN 978-0-312-36175-4 (v.1))
(Required) Intro by Orhan Pamuk/Edited by Philip Gourevitch, The Paris Review Interviews Vol. II (ISBN 978-0-312-36314-7 (v.2))
(Required) Introduction by Salman Rushdie/Edited by Philip Gourevitch, The Paris Review Interviews Vol. IV (ISBN 978-0-312-42744-3)