fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Summer Quarter

Summer Quarter Underway
Late-Start Classes
Still Available
shopping cart icon0

Courses

« Back to Creative Writing

FICT 38 W — The Past Is Never Past: Writing History-Based Fiction

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jun 24—Aug 30
Drop Deadline: Jun 27
Units: 3
Tuition: $895
Instructor(s): Deborah Johnson
Limit: 17
Status: Closed
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is June 27 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is July 2 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Summer
Date(s)
Jun 24—Aug 30
10 weeks
Drop By
Jun 27
3 Units
Fees
$895
Instructor(s):
Deborah Johnson
Limit
17
Closed
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is June 27 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is July 2 at 5:00 pm (PT).
The past may be a foreign country, but it is a country we all love to visit. Recent bestselling novels have found their stories in World War II, pre–civil rights Mississippi, and the Court of Henry VIII. In other words, the historical novel is reaching new heights—and audiences. In this hands-on course, you will plot and begin writing a historical novel of your own. Our approach will be systematic. For the first few weeks, we will look at what constitutes great work, examining books as varied as Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient and Walter Mosley’s Devil in a Blue Dress to see how they successfully handle plot, theme, place, and characterization and to discuss what makes these novels work and why they remain so pressingly relevant to our time. During this same period, we will employ research and plotting techniques to begin writing the first chapter of our novel. Finally, we will share our chapters in workshop to get feedback on what works and what doesn’t. By the end of the course, you will have completed a chapter of ten to twenty-five pages and have a foundation for the longer work.

This course is appropriate both for those who are just getting started and those who have been working on an idea that they want to bring to life.

Deborah Johnson, Author

Deborah Johnson’s most recent book, The Secret of Magic, received the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. Her previous novel, The Air Between Us, received the Mississippi Library Association Award for Fiction. She lived for many years in Rome, where she was a translator, editor, and broadcaster at Vatican Radio.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient (ISBN 978-0679745204)
(Required) Walter Mosley, Devil in a Blue Dress (ISBN 978-0743451796)
(Required) Elizabeth George, Write Away (ISBN 978-0006050447)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)