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Starting Your Novel – Get a foothold on your project

5 Sundays,  2-4:30 pm
$215 members/$245 others Berkeley
Testimonials for Karen

Special “Combo” Deal: Take this class together with the “Intro to Fiction” class (5 weeks plus 5 weeks, back to back) for the discounted price of one 9-week class. This discount applies only if you choose theCombo Class” option when you register, not if you sign up for the classes separately.

You want to write a novel, or you are writing a novel, but maybe you shy away from talking about it with your co-workers, neighbors or brother-in-law (you know the way he rolls his eyes and calls you a dreamer). So come to this workshop instead, where you’ll meet other people who are doing what you’re doing, or want to do. “We’ll talk about your idea, how to make sure it has enough weight to carry a novel,” say Karen Bjorneby. “We’ll talk about your character and make sure she’s so compelling we all can’t wait to find out what she’ll do next. . . what changes is she going to go through along the way? We’ll talk about plot; how are you going to make enough things happen? Or how are you going to keep from being melodramatic? We’ll talk about structure—how do you organize this huge thing and not get overwhelmed?

“We’ll share tips on the process, on getting the pages written, on keeping going, on when to go back and revise and when to keep moving ahead. And of course we’ll be talking about the nuts and bolts of craft—making your scenes work and your voice sing.”

With the help of various writing exercises, class members will work on developing written plot summaries, making sure there’s enough action and enough character development. “Our goal is to get you so close to your main character you’ll know all his secrets, hopes, fears, dreams…better than his own therapist would!” says Karen “We’ll also do writing exercises to help you connect with your setting. And we’ll share what you’ve written, so that you’ll get feedback on your craft, your style, and on that special quality you bring to your writing that makes it uniquely yours.”

Karen Bjorneby started writing by participating in workshops just like this one. She is the author of Hurricane Season: Stories from the Eye of the Storm, which received a Foreword Honorable Mention as best independent/university press short story collection of the year at Book Expo America. She has received a Pushcart Special Mention, two other Pushcart nominations, a National Magazine Award nomination, and she was named a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in nearly two dozen publications including The Threepenny Review, The North American Review, New Letters, StoryQuarterly, Confrontation, The New Orleans Review, The Nebraska Review, and The Sun. She is currently at work on her own novel and is “very familiar with the pitfalls along the way, having fallen into several of them myself.”


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