I have an idea for my next book. It will be a historical novel with some supernatural elements, and probably middle grade (but that might change). It is not under contract. I haven’t written a single word. I have done no research yet. I have not mentioned it to my agent or any of my editors. I am at the moment in this book’s creation that sits just after the idea’s Big Bang. All is raw and formless matter.
The COVID19 pandemic has been a disruptive force that has led me to a reassessment and new appreciation for aspects of my life I once took for granted.
I miss being around other writers. I miss teaching. I want to restore some of that to my life, though not in a way that fights prevailing conditions, but rather leans into them through our newly ubiquitous forms of connectivity. I also want to use this disruption to become more aware, or differently aware, of how I write.
If you decide to join me on this year-long adventure, you will have access to a monthly virtual gathering over Zoom, where I will give a 90-minute presentation on writing a novel, related to the part of my novel that I am working on at that time. Think of it like an in-depth studio tour. I will bring you backstage (please watch your head and mind the dust) and show you how one of my novels gets written. I expect we will begin with research and idea development, then character development, then outlining, then drafting and revising. Along the way, I will also be pitching and sending the book to my agent, and he will possibly be pitching it to editors (whether or not an editor will want it remains to be seen). I also expect there will be setbacks, pitfalls, and disappointments, and I will share those, too. And I use the word expect because I don’t actually know how things will unfold. As I mentioned above, it may be that writing a novel in this way will make me more aware of how I actually do it, and it could very well be that I do it differently than I think I do.
These sessions will be open to any student to join. If you are interested in creative endeavors, generally, or have ever wondered how a novel gets written, please join me by visiting the course website to register. If you’d like to learn more, I had a virtual discussion about the workshop with Luke Peterson of Futurescapes, which can be found here.