Special Topics in the Novel

Taming the Unruly First Draft

Wednesday, September 9th, from 6:00-9:00pm
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
This class is full

There are two main types of novel writers: those who write a short, skeletal first draft and must then flesh it out, and those who write a sprawling, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink draft and must then excavate the story from within a mass of extraneous pages. Through exercises and in-class structural assignments, this seminar will provide strategies for both types of writers to tame their unruly beasts, be they stubborn, skinny drafts or the extra-wide, expansive variety. Please bring a copy of your novel draft to class (either on a laptop or, if you prefer, hard copy), as you may need to refer to it for some of the exercises.

Part of GrubStreet's Special Topics in the Novel, a group of classes dedicated to exploring different craft elements of novel-writing. For more class offerings, click here.

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"Taming The Unruly First Draft," gave me the confidence and tools I need to move forward with the first major revision of my novel. Lisa's engaging, helpful, and relaxed manner facilitated open discussions in class. I look forward to digging into my work on this particular novel, and I am eager to return to GrubStreet for more guidance as a whip this book into shape.
- Rebekah Fraser


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Lisa Borders
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Previous Students Say

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


  • Craft Lessons
  • In-Class Writing
  • In-Class Reading
  • Class Discussion


  • The Novel

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