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“Starting Your Novel: How to Create an Opening in Dialogue with Your Ending” with John Pipkin

October 1 2022 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM CDT

$59.00 – $119.00

Tickets

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"Starting Your Novel: How to Create an Opening in Dialogue with your Ending" Class Ticket - Member
$ 59.00
Unlimited
"Starting Your Novel: How to Create an Opening in Dialogue with your Ending" Class Ticket - Non-Member
$ 119.00
Unlimited

$59 for Members
$119 for Non-Members

All registrants will have access to the class recording for one month.

This class is a part of “The Novelist’s Toolkit” Class Package. 

A good opening is the key to unlocking the rest of the story. This class is intended to give writers useful strategies and techniques for starting a novel.

Sometimes writing the opening of a novel can seem a daunting challenge, an obstacle to writing the rest of the book, especially when the long-arc of the novel seems to be stretching off into the invisible distance. But a well-written opening can actually help you structure and outline the rest of the story, and the process of writing an opening offers a writer the opportunity to explore the story’s main ideas.

We’ve all heard that an opening needs to “pull a reader into the story,” but what exactly does this mean, and how do you do it? Should you begin with character? Plot? Setting? Theme? A short sentence? A long winding sentence? We’ll look at a variety of published examples of effective openings, and we’ll do some brief in-class writing assignments to identify ways to figure out what kind of opening may work best for your novel. We’ll look at how research can be helpful not only for finding useful content for an opening, but also for providing new ideas for new stories. Also, we’ll discuss how the opening of a novel is in dialogue with other parts of the novel.

Often when the ending of a novel isn’t working, it’s not because of the ending itself, but because something in the beginning of the story still isn’t fully developed. Knowing how to revise the opening can help make your whole novel feel like it is arising organically out of the opening pages.

TAKE THIS CLASS IF

  • You’re have a difficult time getting started.
  • You can’t decide what your first sentences should be.
  • The challenge of writing an opening keeps you from writing the rest of your novel.
  • If you aren’t sure whether to begin with character, plot, setting, or theme.
  • You don’t know where or how to find new ideas for new stories.
  • You want to know how to revise your openings.

The deadline to register for this class is Friday, September 30 at 5:00 PM CDT.

Instructor

John Pipkin is the Director of the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program at the University of Texas-Austin and also teaches in the low-residency MFA Program at Spalding University. Originally from Baltimore, he holds a Ph.D. in 19th-century British Literature and is the author of the critically-acclaimed novels: Woodsburner (Nan A Talese/Doubleday 2009) which won the New York Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter (Bloomsbury 2016). He has received fellowships to MacDowell, Yaddo, Dobie-Paisano, and the Gullkistan Center for Creativity in Iceland. He is also the recipient of the 2021 Harry Ransom Award for Excellence in Teaching at UT-Austin.

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click here for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it. If you prefer this option, please email wlt@writersleague.org with a copy of the form as well. We are working out of our office at this time.

Class & Event Registration Policy

Once a purchase has been made, registrations are not refundable and cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a registration and then find you cannot attend the class or event, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at wlt@writersleague.org and let us know the name and contact information for the person who will be using the registration so that we can update the class or event roster.

Credit Card Transaction Handling Fee Policy

All credit card transactions will incur a 4% handling fee. If you’d prefer to pay by check for membership, a class, or an event, you can use the provided forms on the membership or event pages and mail to: WLT, P.O. Box 14355, Austin, TX, 78704.

HOW WLT CLASSES WORK:

Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven’t taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to email WLT Program Director Sam Babiak at sam@writersleague.org if you’d like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.

HOW ONLINE CLASSES WORK:

Once you register for the class, you’ll receive an email with detailed instructions no later than 48 hours before the class date. You should expect 2-2.5 hours of direct teaching and 30 minutes of Q&A (for three hours total). If you need to leave the class early or can’t attend the class on that date, all registrants will have access to the recording for one month after the class date. No microphone or camera required, just an Internet connection capable of streaming video. All online classes are hosted on Zoom. To learn more about how Zoom works, click HERE. 

Plan to log in to the online platform several hours before the class so that you can update your software or any other settings required to access the platform. (Updates usually only take a few minutes, but you don’t want to wait until the beginning of class.) Questions? Email us at wlt@writersleague.org.

Cultural Arts City of Austin

This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at NowPlayingAustin.com.

Texas Commission on the Arts

Writers’ League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts – Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to www.arts.texas.gov.

National Endowment for the Arts

This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

Mid-America Arts Alliance

This project is supported in part by the Mid-America Arts Alliance. For more information, go to www.maaa.org.

Details

Date:
October 1 2022
Time:
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM CDT
Cost:
$59.00 – $119.00
Event Categories:
,

Venue

Online via Zoom