New Class!

Novel Plot Engine Tricks: Getting it Going, Keeping it Moving: Online

8 weeks online; no live meetings. Portal opens on February 6th
Level: For Everyone
This class is full

Whether you’re just beginning your novel or it is halfway written but stalled out, the process of writing a novel can make it feel like an unmanageable beast. In this class, we will learn how to manage that beast, get you generating pages, and prod you to fall back in love with your book by focusing on what you can control: keeping the plot moving. Well work scene-by-scene, one day at a time, since a novel is less overwhelming when you take it in bite-sized chunks. 

In the course of discovering your novels plot scene by scene, we’ll also talk about familiar elements of the novel –– structure, setting, character, etc., –– and introduce some new concepts and tricks that can make keep the engine moving: making characters have secrets and tell lies, using power dynamics, tricks to make research more fun, and using neat stuff and magic objects (what makes objects magic will be revealed in class!) to write scenes. 

Using prompts as a jumping off point, you’ll write eight scenes from your novel, and you will receive light feedback on those scenes. You will also get more in-depth feedback from your instructor and fellow students on a longer section of the novel, submitting 8-12 pages for two workshop rounds. At the very end of the class, you will have a 15-minute phone call with the instructor to wrap up the class. 

To help illustrate the lessons each week, we will also read Swamplandia! by Karen Russell together as a class. (Note: It is not a requirement that you love, or even like, this book!) You'll be expected to get the book from a library/bookstore and read along, in order to get the most of the lessons. 

By the end of the eight weeks, you’ll have written eight new scenes, have tips and tricks for how to move forward on your novels plot, prompts to return to again and again, and (hopefully!) a reignited passion for your novel project. 

Course takeaways: 

  • you'll write at least eight new scenes of your novel 
  • intensive instructor and peer feedback on two 8-12 page sections of your novel 
  • one individual conference to discuss your goals, progress, and how to move forward after class ends.

*Please note that while our handy dandy "Schedule" tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Assignments and deadlines will be given by your instructor. Students will have access to the online class portal starting at 5pm on the first day of class. Instructions for logging onto the online portal will be emailed to registered students before 5pm the first day of class.

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Annie Hartnett
See Bio

Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Lots of Practical Tips"
  • "Supportive Environment"


  • Get Feedback
  • Reading Homework
  • Class Discussion
  • Generate New Work
  • Instructor Feedback


  • The Novel

Commitment Level



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