SATURDAY, AUG. 20th | Setting sometimes feels like the red-headed stepchild of the fiction-writing process—less integral, somehow, than character or story structure. But whether you’re writing a biting social satire or a sweeping historical epic, a high-fantasy adventure or a gritty dystopian one, your characters and their stories are indelibly shaped by the physical, temporal and social world in which they exist. In order to understand what makes your novel tick, you need to know that world inside and out. This one-session course will unpack how masterful writers across genre use setting to drive story and shape character—and help you discover the world of your own novel, from its unwritten mores and environmental constraints to its narrative traditions and natural wonders.
We’ll draw on excerpts from authors like N.K. Jemisin, Louise Erdrich, and Jess Walter to deepen our understanding of how a novel’s world informs its character, plot, and themes. Through in-class discussion, small-group exercises, and individual free-writes, you’ll gain a deeper sense of how worlds and stories intersect, how to dive into the world of your novel, and how to bring that world to life on the page.
This class will meet on Zoom. Registered students, please contact the instructor directly for Zoom details.
|Emily Holleman is the author of Cleopatra’s Shadows and The Drowning King (both Little Brown & Company), the first of which was long-listed for the HWA Debut Crown. She is currently working on a speculative novel set in California of the not-so-distant future. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Cut, Alta, Elle, LitHub, Salon, and BookPage, among others.|
Number of sessions: 1
Dates: Saturday, August 20
Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm Pacific Time
Course fee: $100