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Elaine Beale: Starting Your Novel: Taking the First Steps

Five Sundays, Feb. 28-March 27, 2-4:30 p.m.
$215 members/$245 others      Berkeley
Testimonials for Elaine

COMBO SPECIAL: Intro to Fiction/Starting Your Novel

Writing a novel can be a lonely business. It can also be pretty overwhelming when you’re doing it without guidance, input or support. If you want to start a novel or you’ve got a novel in progress, this class will provide you with the help you’ll need.

“I love teaching novel writing,” says Elaine. “It’s so inspiring seeing each student create characters, stories and entire worlds out of the blank page! And, because the novel is my favorite form to read and to write, I so enjoy helping new novelists get their work off the ground.

“We’ll cover the key things to think about when starting a novel. This means beginning to  understand your main characters and their motivations, creating a compelling setting, and learning how to pace your story in order to keep your reader engaged from start to finish. We’ll also talk about plot and how it intertwines and connects with your characters. Finally, we’ll discuss how to motivate yourself to keep going.

“We’ll do in-class exercises. I’ll also give you homework assignments that focus on different aspects of craft. You’ll have opportunities to get feedback on these. Also, everyone will work on written plot summaries that we’ll discuss in class.”

Please note that there will be a two-week hiatus in this class (between May 31 and June 7; see above). This will give you the chance to spend some extra, focused time to play around with and develop your characters and storyline and, if you wish, bring more materials to share when class resumes.

Elaine Beale’s second novel, Another Life Altogether, was published by Random House in 2010. It received praise from the Boston Globe, Lambda Literary, Curve Magazine, the Bay Area Reporter, and Publishers Weekly  among others, and was featured in Oprah Magazine. Elaine was the winner of the 2007 Poets and Writers California Writers Exchange Award and has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She has taught creative writing for more than a decade.


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