Have you always wanted to write a novel?
The prospect of writing a book can be intimidating. Most of us are first exposed to novels during high school, where we study Great Works of Literature like The Great Gatsby, Fahrenheit 451, and Pride and Prejudice. We learn to analyze. We learn to make sense of the mesmerizing metaphors, larger-than-life characters, and the authors’ insightful social commentary.
As wonderful as this is, it means that when it comes time to write our own stories we’re faced with a problem. We’ve only ever encountered the manuscript in the form of a polished final draft, and there’s no way we could create something like that, right?
If you’ve always wanted to write a novel but are unsure how to get the ball rolling, then this is the workshop for you. Whether you’re caught in a perpetual staring contest with a blank Word Doc or simply haven’t had the time to sit down and figure out how you’re going to write the darn thing, this four-week workshop will give you the space to develop your prose dream into reality.
A significant portion of workshop time will be allotted to writing and feedback, to ensure participants have the time, space, and support to craft strong story foundations. By the end, you will leave with a working story outline, the draft of a first chapter, ample feedback, and ultimately, the structure and knowledge you need to hit the ground running and move from opening hooks to “the end.”
Classes are structured to give you the tools to develop your story beyond the scope of the workshop. Workshop 1 focuses on outlining—theory and prompts to push through creative blocks and get words on the page. Workshop 2 will be spent fleshing out outlines, developing character motivations, goals, and conflict. First chapters will be critiqued during workshop 3. Workshop 4 will consist of a discussion of sustainable creative practice and a final sharing session.
- Tuesday, May 5, 6:30 – 9:00 pm
- Tuesday, May 12, 6:30 – 9:00 pm
- Tuesday, May 19, 6:30 – 9:00 pm
- Tuesday, May 26, 6:30 – 9:00 pm
WORKSHOP 1: Outlining
Approaches to outlining, getting the ball rolling, dealing with creative blocks, freewriting, character creation, roadmapping and seeding story, etc.
WORKSHOP 2: Plotting
Developing outline, considering characterization, symbolism, setting, motivations, limitations, genre, etc.
WORKSHOP 3: First Chapter
Workshopping first chapters (This may be spread across two dates, depending on registration.)
WORKSHOP 4: Sustainable Creative Practice
Why do we write? What measures can we take to protect our writing time? What resources are at our disposal? Discussion of creative community, models for creativity, etc. Wrap up with a sharing session and discussion of where to go next to continue—and finish—your manuscript.
Willow Loveday Little is a writer, poet and freelance editor whose work has appeared in places like The Dalhousie Review, On Spec, Westmount Mag, and Hirundo Classics Journal. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, teaches ESL, and edits fiction manuscripts. She was a finalist for the QWF poetry mentorship two years consecutively. Willow curates “Pieces of Process,” an art series that aims to demystify creative process by providing a space for emerging artists to engage in interdisciplinary conversations about art. Willow is currently editing her own literary fiction manuscript.