Novel-Writing for November: An Online Workshop

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A Convivium School Workshop

Maybe you've been thinking about starting a novel, have been starting-and-discarding, or have started writing but stalled. "No one has your stories but you," they say, but perhaps what you have now is not yet a story, and you’re wondering how to take all the separate pieces and bring them together, how to bring your work to life?

Did that metaphor I just used made you think of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein? If so, good. Because making art means daring to make a monster, a creation like nothing else on earth. That's why I'm not going to give a set of strict rules about what you may or may not do, in bringing your novel to the light. There may be rules you will discover, after all, that I have never even heard of.

Each week, I will give you a choice from several assignments, and you may select whichever is most relevant for your project. These may pertain to character-development, world-building, or plot generation. Depending on your novel's progress and genre, you may opt to work on designing an open-ended outline, organizing chapters, developing voice and point of view, or building momentum to get started and keep going. If your novel is well in progress, you may wish to focus on heightening the sense of conflict and the reader's appreciation of what's at stake.

You will also have options to work on style, narration, dialogue, and atmosphere.

You will be able to tailor the class to your needs, either completing all assignments and workshops, or dipping into the materials and resources when they feel relevant to your project. I will offer each student extensive feedback on one project per week, but you also have the option to workshop and discuss your project in the group.

Once you are registered, I will add you to an email list and a Facebook group and proceed from there.

Whatever your particular monster, my hope is that this workshop will help you to get it moving, and keep its momentum up.

Instructor: Rebecca Bratten Weiss taught college level courses in literature and writing for over twelve years. She is an editor for Convivium, co-author of the Catholic Philosopher Chick novels, and of numerous poems, including a chapbook collection, Palaces of Dust, and is also a member of the literary collective the George Sandinistas.


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