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NVL 32 W — Writing Your Debut Novel

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 21—Dec 4
Drop Deadline: Sep 24
Units: 3
Tuition: $910
Instructor(s): Samina Ali
Limit: 20
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class the week of November 23. In addition, some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Fall
Flex Online(About Formats)
Date(s)
Sep 21—Dec 4
10 weeks
Drop By
Sep 24
3 Units
Fees
$910
Instructor(s):
Samina Ali
Limit
20
Closed
Please Note: No class the week of November 23. In addition, some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Writing a first novel is exciting, but daunting. Writers must figure out not only the best story to tell, but also how best to tell it. In this course, we will learn the elements of good novel writing, hone our writer's voice, and gain an understanding of plot, structure, and character development. Assigned readings from NoViolet Bulawayo’s debut novel, We Need New Names, short online pieces, and Elements of Fiction Writing: Conflict and Suspense by James Scott Bell will give us many of the essential tools of novel writing. Students will submit original work and provide meaningful and rigorous critiques to classmates' manuscripts. The instructor will also offer written comments and hold a thirty-minute individual videoconference with each writer. Weekly writing exercises, assigned readings, and lectures on craft will help students better recognize strengths and areas for improvement in both their own work and that of others. No matter your novel's genre—romance, historical, magical realism, fantasy, literary, or even autobiographical fiction—you will complete the course with a solid outline of your novel (or a solid through line that charts the arc of the novel), and a first chapter that springs the action and plot forward in the right direction. The tools you acquire in this course will help inspire and motivate you to do what we all hope to do: write a great debut novel.

Samina Ali, Author

Samina Ali's novel Madras on Rainy Days received France's Prix du Premier Roman Etranger award, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award in Fiction, and was named a best debut novel by Poets & Writers. Among other places, her work has been featured in The Economist, The Guardian, and Vogue, and on NPR. Ali was also a featured presenter at the Nobel Women's Initiative 2017 International Conference.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) James Scott Bell, Elements of Fiction Writing - Conflict and Suspense (ISBN B006N4DAZE)
(Required) NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names (ISBN 978-0307739452)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)