The Novel Series: Outlining Your Novel

Friday, September 27th, 10:30am-1:30pm
GrubStreet HQ
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
This class is full

Writers often hate to outline their novels, feeling the practice constrains creativity and saps inspiration. But why set out on "the long sea voyage," as Melville called novel-writing, without some sort of map to your destination? The Webster's definition of plot is "to chart out in points," and New York Times bestselling novelist Jenna Blum will show you how to chart your book while remaining creatively flexible and inspired.

The first half of the workshop will consist of lecture and discussion: why is an outline necessary? What constitutes an outline? Can you think outside the traditional outline format, and if so, how? Jenna will provide outlines to her own books and show how she used them as tools to reach her destination: The End.

The second half of the workshop will consist of writers mapping out their own books, Q&A, and, finally, an evaluation of outlines-in-progress. Required: your usual writing tools (pen, paper, tablet, laptop). If you have a manuscript in progress, please bring it. If not, that’s okay—this workshop will give you a plan for your book! Writers will take home photocopies of novel outlines that worked and a preliminary outline for their books.

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Jenna Blum
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Previous Students Say

  • "Generative"
  • "Inundated with Great Info"
  • "High-Energy Class"


  • Class Discussion
  • Q&A
  • Instructor Feedback
  • In-Class Writing
  • Craft Lessons
  • Generate New Work


  • The Novel
  • Professional Development & Skills

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