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Writing Workshops

Writing a Crime Novel: Getting Started with David Gordon


2 Sessions

In stock

Saturday & Sunday 1:00 pm EDT - 4:00 pm EDT April 6 to April 7, 2024

Online via Zoom

This workshop is designed to give you the background and encouragement you need to embark on committing, and solving, your first crime novel. Incorporating lessons on vital topics like plotting, character development, dialogue and setting, and short, generative in-class exercises, we will end at the beginning – with the opening of your novel.

Course Outline
  • Session I:
    • Background history of the mystery and crime novel
    • Introduction to outlining as story-building
    • In class outlining exercise / Break
      • Review of exercise
      • Discussion of the importance of setting – place and era
      • In class: choose and describe setting
    • Review of exercise
      • Discussion of character development – focus on “detective” as hero and the importance of villains
      • Homework: character sketches
  • Session II:
    • Review of character sketches
      • Discussion of plotting
      • In class: develop plot outline / Break
    • Review exercises
      • Discuss dialogue and scene construction
      • Discuss style and voice
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Led by

  • DSC03835 - David Gordon

    David Gordon

    David Gordon

    David Gordon was born in New York City, attended Sarah Lawrence College and holds an MFA in Fiction as well as an MA in English and Comparative Literature, both from Columbia. He has published seven novels and a short story collection and has been translated into French, German, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Polish and Turkish. His first novel, The Serialist, won the VCU/Cabell Award, was nominated for an Edgar and was made into a feature film in Japan, where it was a bestseller and the first novel to win three major awards for foreign books. His work has appeared in the Paris Review, New York Times magazine, Fence, Purple Fashion, Harper’s, and many others. Upcoming projects include a video game co-written with Hampton Fancher (the screenwriter of Blade Runner), a story in a JG Ballard tribute anthology, a piece on Freud as a detective for a Princeton University anthology, and his next novel, Behind Sunset, a noir mystery set in L.A.’s porn world in the 90s, forthcoming from Mysterious Press in Fall 2024.