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ENGL 485 A: Novel Writing

Meeting Time: 
MW 10:30am - 11:50am
SIG 229
Maya Sonenberg
Maya Sonenberg

Syllabus Description:

Whether your novel is still just an idea floating around in your head or you already have a rough draft, this class will help you take your work to the next step. Through a combination of planning, drafting, and revising, you will focus on the process of writing a novel, and work on the aspects of a novel that make it different from short fiction. Expect to do a lot of reading and writing as you will also comment on your classmates’ work and read and analyze a short published novel.

You do NOT need to have a complete draft by the time the quarter starts, but you MUST  have some sense of the novel you want to write. That means at least one of the following: a problem, some characters, a situation, a question, an idea, a plot, a setting, a shape or form. Of course, if you have already started drafting your novel, that’s fine too. You may work on a project that’s already partially done.

A word on genre: You may write novels that draw on the traditions of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or another genre, as long as you are not simply following a formula. Your genre-inflected novel should be original to you and express a commitment to some sort of complexity and to a love of language. If you have any questions about whether the novel you’re considering will work for this class, please don’t hesitate to email me.

I will be in touch with the class before the end of spring quarter to let you know about planning and reading you may want to do over the summer.

Required Texts:

course reader

Catalog Description: 
Experience in planning, writing, and revising a work of long fiction, whether from the outset, in progress, or in already completed draft. Prerequisite: ENGL 384.
GE Requirements: 
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated: 
April 28, 2023 - 6:24am