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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 June 22 to June 23, 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. He attended Sarah Lawrence College, holds an MA in English and Comparative Literature and an MFA in Writing, both from Columbia University. He is the author of seven published novels and a book of stories. His first novel, The Serialist, won the VCU/Cabell First Novel Award and was a finalist for an Edgar Award. It also won three major literary awards in Japan—Kono Mystery ga Sugoi, Mystery ga Yomitai and Mystery Best 10—becoming the first novel ever to do so—and was made into a feature film. In addition to Japanese, his novels has been translated into Chinese, Korean, French, German, Turkish, Russian and Polish. His most recent book, The Pigeon, is number five in the Joe the Bouncer series. A new novel, a neo-noir called, Behind Sunset, is forthcoming from Mysterious Press, as well as a video game co-written with Hampton Fancher, (Bladerunner). His work has appeared in Harpers, The Paris Review, the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, Fence, Brazenhead Review, Maggot Brain, LitHub, Electric Literature, and others.