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

The Novel Series: Outlining Your Novel

No Longer Enrolling

  • $150.00 Non-Member
  • $130.00 Member

Class Description

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.

Part of GrubStreet's Novel Series, a series of classes dedicated to the craft and process of novel writing. To see more of our Novel Series offerings, click here.

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. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

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!