New Class!

Novel II: The First Third

10 Thursdays from 6:00pm-9:00pm, starting January 14th
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: Intermediate
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

Beginning a novel is immensely exciting. You have so much to say, such wonderful characters to explore, a situation that begs to be developed. But before you know it, you find yourself with loose threads, tangents, and characters who are becoming unrecognizable or simply disappearing before your eyes. What do you do?

In this class, we’ll discuss strategies for developing your novel so that the essential first third sets up what is to come. We will explore how structural underpinnings can guide you, and study indicators of direction such as point of view, characterization, setting, and voice in two short novels and a range of excerpts. We’ll also discuss ways of integrating backstory into the narrative without interrupting momentum. And all along, we will look at our own work; each student will have two opportunities to submit 25 pages to be workshopped in class.

Recommended for students with a full first draft of a novel, students who prefer to plan their work either before or as they write, and students who are ready for a more detailed workshopping experience of their early pages. Students will need to purchase The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, by Dinaw Mengestu, and Play it as it Lays, by Joan Didion, for this class.

Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To apply or find out more, check out our scholarships page.

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Mike Harvkey
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Supportive Environment"
  • "Inundated with Great Info"


  • Generate New Work
  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Workshop
  • Lecture
  • Class Discussion
  • Reading Homework
  • Writing Homework


  • The Novel

Commitment Level



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Learn more
Novel Essentials: Introducing Characters
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ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL: Endings in Short Fiction
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Novel Essentials: Introducing Characters
read more