Novel First Draft — Syllabus

Each lecture contains two parts: craft information and inspirational advice. The course does not include critiquing of student novels.

Fuel/Sticking To It: Finding the white-hot idea that will keep you fueled. Techniques for staying the course.

Protagonist/Psychological Barriers: Creating a protagonist’s desire and dimension. Ways to “show” the protagonist. How to break through your psychological barriers.

Beginning/Don’t Look Back: Structure. Outlines. Sketching your Beginning. How to keep moving forward no matter what.

POV & Voice/Reading: Finding the right point of view. Reasons to read while writing. Types of things to read.

Middle/Brainstorming: Strategies for creating a rising action. Sketching your Middle. The art of brainstorming.

Cast & Subplots/The World Around You: Figuring out your cast. Subplots. Drawing ideas and inspiration from the world around you.

World/Love of Language: Creating the specific world of your novel. Relishing and enlivening your language.

Scenes/Patience & Surprise: Elements of a good scene. Allowing the patience for letting things unfold. Finding the surprises of discovery.

Protagonist II/The World Inside You: Finding and revealing the protagonist’s past. Discovering the protagonist’s evolution. Drawing ideas and inspiration from what is inside you.

End/What’s Next?: Climax and resolution. Sketching your End. Finishing the first draft. Revision. Friends and feedback.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes.