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  • Seminar
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)

The Novel Series: Finding Your Direction From Your First Pages

No Longer Enrolling

  • $130.00 Non-Member
  • $110.00 Member

Class Description

Have a good idea or great characters, but no idea where to go from there? Already have a full draft that has no center and reads no better than a smattering of actions and scenes? A novel without a sure-footed direction from the very beginning can be a nightmare to write, let alone finish, and agents and editors will seldom give them a glimpse. This course will focus on nailing your first pages, getting your story going without becoming mired in backstory, and allowing these pages to determine the rest of your book. Through a combination of lectures, readings, and writing exercises, students will work toward discovering where to begin—using concepts such as the Wounding Event, the Inciting Incident, and the Point of Attack—how to deal with backstory, how to raise the stakes on your protagonist’s actions, and how to make us care about those actions. You’ll learn how your protagonist propels your plot while discovering the backbone of your book. By the end of the course, you will have a better idea of how best to make your beginning both interesting and meaningful to your reader, laying the path of which way to go next. Part of a monthly series of eight one-day classes for novelists at the beginning or more advanced stages of their manuscripts.

Part of GrubStreet's Novel Essentials Series, led by Michelle Hoover and dedicated to exploring the core elements of novel writing. Classes include:

  • The Novel Series: Character Lab
  • The Novel Series: The Point of View Puzzle
  • The Novel Series: Finding Your Direction from the First Pages
  • The Novel Series: Conflict for the Conflict Averse
  • The Novel Series: Dynamic Scenes and Chapters
  • The Novel Series: Subtext, Setting, & Suspense
  • The Novel Series: How to Hold Up Your Middle & Find Your Ending
  • The Novel Series: Taming Time: Pacing, Compression, and Slowing Down
Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. About 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin, you'll receive an email from your instructor with a link to join the class meeting!

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!