Online | Fiction | Novel | Workshop

8-Week Online Novel Workshop: Revision Techniques for Your Novel

Hey, you finished a draft of your novel! Congratulations! That’s HUGE. So...now what? Now, you revise. You know that writing is revising, of course, but that doesn’t mean that the revision process isn’t often daunting and mysterious.

In this class, designed for writers who have a completed draft of a novel, students will learn specific tools, ranging from note-making techniques to scene-by-scene analysis, to help them successfully shepherd their books from first draft to final. “Complete” means that it has a beginning, middle, and an end; it might still be quite full of holes. It may very well be a hot mess. No problem. That, my friends, is what revision is for.

Each person will workshop twice, turning in up to 50 manuscript pages at a time. Two people will submit work each class meeting, so come prepared to read and respond to up to 100 pages of your classmates’ work each week. In addition to workshopping, we’ll discuss a variety of craft essays and excerpts from published novels.

Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the Zoom desktop client so you have access to all platform features.

COURSE TAKEAWAYS:

- Concrete strategies for successful revision that can be applied to any writing project.

- Substantive feedback from instructor and classmates on your novel-in-progress.

- Inspiration, support, guidance, and community from a group of fellow writers.

- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes

COURSE EXPECTATIONS:

Students will workshop twice, submitting up to 50 pages of their novel manuscript each time, so they should be prepared to read up to 50 pages of their classmates’ work on the weeks that they’re workshopping and up to 100 pages on the weeks that they are not. In addition, there will be either a short craft essay or a novel excerpt to read each week in anticipation of an in-class discussion. Readings will be kept short, in acknowledgment of their significant workshop-reading commitment. 

COURSE SKELETON:

Week 0: Introductions and course overview.

Week 1: What have you done?: evaluating your draft; workshop #1

Week 2: Promises made: what contract have you made with your reader?; workshop #2

Week 3: Characters and their motivations; workshop #3

Week 4: Plot and its absence; workshop #4

Week 5: Structure; workshop #5

Week 6: Setting: making it matter; workshop #6

Week 7: Sticking the landing: endings; workshop #7

Week 8: How do you know when your novel is finished?; workshop #8

Cari Luna

Cari Luna is the author of The Revolution of Every Day, which won the Oregon Book Award for Fiction. A fellow of Yaddo and Ragdale, her writing has appeared in The Nation, Guernica, Salon, Jacobin, Electric Literature, Catapult, The Rumpus, PANK, and elsewhere. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Testimonials

"Cari Luna leads a workshop with confidence and warmth. I learned so much and I felt encouraged every step of the way. It is clear that Cari really cares about her students and their growth as writers. She is generous in the time she gives to her students, and I left her workshop with a lot of great resource material. A workshop with Cari Luna will positively influence your writing long after the class is over."

Catherine LaSota former student

“Cari Luna is brilliant, wise, warm and insightful. Any student working with her is lucky indeed. She is the best kind of mentor and editor—one that sees your work with fresh eyes, eager to help you find your voice and path forward. I highly recommend her!”

Rene Denfield bestselling author of THE CHILD FINDER and THE ENCHANTED

“I engaged Cari Luna first as a writing coach when I needed direction and guidance while finishing a novel and then to edit some short stories I’d written. As a coach, Cari helped me stay on track to meet writing goals and helped me conquer a crisis in confidence with warmth and compassion. As an editor, Cari’s comments have provided invaluable guidance during the revision process. In addition, I’ve noticed recently that I’ve internalized some of the editorial suggestions she’s made enough to take these suggestions with me to my writing desk when I generate new work. Working with Cari has truly helped me become a better writer at all stages of the creative process.”

Jenny Drai author of THE HISTORY WORKER and WINE DARK