Beginning the Novel
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Writing
Department: Writing Program
Course Number: NWRW 2304
Course Format: Seminar
Permission Required: No
- Creative Writing
In a relaxed and supportive but intellectually rigorous atmosphere, this beginner's course explores the delicate alchemy that produces excellent fiction. In our attempt to pinpoint exactly why we feel certain works are successful, we scrutinize character, tone, point of view, setting, plot, and dialogue, with a focus on the metaphor as a resonant thematic pattern. Close attention is paid to craft, to the necessary artifice behind the art of fiction. The course is taught as an interactive workshop: Students submit chapters from their novels-in-progress for group assessment. Most sessions include a topic presentation and a discussion of assigned readings. Ultimately, students must internalize the skills they learn until those skills become second nature.