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Writing Workshops

Writing a First Novel with David Gordon


10 Sessions

Out of stock

Once a week Tuesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT March 26 to May 28, 2024

Online via Zoom

This course has reached its capacity. To join the waitlist, please email Sebastian Mazza at [email protected].

This course is designed to provide the techniques, guidance and support that the first time novelist needs to embark on—and see through—the process. Beginning with lessons on vital topics like plotting, character development, dialogue and setting, as well as short, generative exercises, we will move into openings and first chapters, with the later class sessions devoted to close reading and discussion of student submissions.

Course Outline
  • Session I: General Overview—Discussion of Outlining
    In-class exercise in outlining. Homework: complete outline.
  • Session II: Discussion of Character Development
    Review of assignments. Homework: character sketch.
  • Session III: Discussion of Plotting
    Review of assignments. Homework: develop plot synopsis.
  • Session IV: Discussion of Openings
    Review of assignments. Homework: write an opening.
  • Session V: Discussion of Dialogue & Scene Structure
    Homework: write a scene.
  • Session VI: Discussion of Style & Voice
    Review of assignments. Homework – finish first chapter!
  • Sessions VII–X: Workshop Student Submissions

Other topics will be discussed as they arise during workshops with a focus on maintaining progress, completing a draft, and revision during later classes. Students will receive feedback and line edits on submissions.


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 LA’s porn world in the 90s, forthcoming from Mysterious Press in Fall 2024.