Focused Fiction Workshop IV:
Points of Entry for the Novel
Instructor: Kali VanBaale
Class Type: Workshop
T.S. Eliot once said, “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” In storytelling, this couldn’t be more true as we face new moments and fresh beginnings over and over whenever we start a new novel, a new chapter, or even a new scene. And fresh beginnings mean questions. Where should this novel begin, with a prologue, or in media res? Where should this next chapter or scene pick up so as to smoothly transition from the scene before it? This class will focus on points of entry for novels in all its forms—prologues, frame narrators, new chapters, new scenes, and false starts, as well as point of entry considerations like handling backstory, transitions, point of view, pacing, and pitfalls.
Each student will submit up to 12 pages of the beginning of a novel and up to 12 pages of a follow up chapter in two workshop sessions to receive rigorous feedback from peers and the instructor with critical focus on the points of entry, and students will read and respond to 2-4 peer submissions per week.
There will also be writing and reading assignments between workshop sessions, and recommended readings and lecture notes each week.
No textbook is required.