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Writing Workshops

Writing a First Novel with David Gordon


10 Sessions

In stock

Once a week Wednesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT June 5 to August 14, 2024

Online via Zoom

Note: There will be no meeting on July 17.

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. 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.