09/21 Write Your Book in Six Months with John Dufrense
Popular author/teacher gives YOU a plan to write your book!
We’re going to explore the process of getting a first draft of your novel written in six months. If you come to understand how the writing process works—by fits and starts, with equal parts elation and frustration—you won’t give in to despair when you feel stuck, as you inevitably will. Writing a novel is a commitment of energy, passion, and intelligence, all of which you’ve plenty of. And it’s a commitment of time, which is, unfortunately, in short supply for most of us. Know this: Everything in your life is incompatible with writing and always will be.
You bring patience and tenacity to the writing desk. You set loose your imagination, and the workshop provides the method to help you shape your requisite madness, as it were, into a coherent narrative. You’ve found your central character, and you think, “What do I do now?” What you do now is follow a weekly writing plan; you do the appropriate writing exercises, and now you have a setting, a narrator, a plot, and so it goes. Trust in the process. That’s what this workshop is for: to point the way and to organize the thousand steps in the novel-writing process. You start with a blank slate. You begin by exploring your own life for fictional and thematic material and then drive on deep into the imaginative world of the novel. You start by thinking of characters and then places, plot, theme, scene, point of view, and so on all the way to revision.
Novels are written, not wished into existence. You have to sit your ass in the chair or nothing gets done. You always find time to do what you love. You only have to want to write as much as you want to watch TV or listen to music. So get to the writing desk and bring your enthusiasm and passion. You’re about to live a dozen lives, about to learn about your own life, about the world around you, and about the human condition. The world you’ll create is going to be more vivid and provocative than the one outside your door.
Stick around after class until 4:30 when John Dufrense will read and sign his new novel, “No Regrets, Coyote.” Local authors Ken Kuhlken and T. Greenwood will also read excerpts from their works.
John Dufresne is the author of two short story collections, The Way That Water Enters Stone and Johnny Too Bad, and the novels Louisiana Power & Light, Love Warps the Mind a Little, both New York Times Notable Books of the Year, Deep in the Shade of Paradise, and Requiem, Mass. His books on writing, The Lie That Tells a Truth and Is Life Like This? are used in many university writing programs. He’s the editor of the anthology Blue Christmas. His short stories have twice been named Best American Mystery Stories, in 2007 and 2010. His play Trailerville was produced at the Blue Heron Theater in New York in 2005. He’s a professor at Florida International University in Miami. He is a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow in Fiction. His new novel is No Regrets, Coyote.