This class will be an exploration, not a set of rules. We’ll discuss structure, scenes, direction, plausibility, and the emotional life of your characters, but with open minds. Craft is important, too. I hope we’ll work together to find what’s necessary to the particular work on the table. I agree with John Dufresne – writers have to be good readers. There’s much to be learned in examining others’ work. We all rely on your responses, your experiences in writing, and your generosity to make the workshop successful. What an opportunity we have to be honest and open about a task that matters so much.
E.L. Doctorow said writing a novel is like driving home at night. "You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." We can’t be discouraged because we don’t know what’s ahead, and in a novel that can be true for many pages. Writing a novel takes stamina and courage. It’s a little magic and a lot of sweat.
Let’s do this together. I want what you want (and what I want for myself) to learn and to write the best novel you can write.
Kent Nelson has published five collections of stories, four novels, and 133 stories in magazines. His work has been included in The Best American Short Stories, The Best American Mystery Stories, Pushcart, O. Henry, Best of the West, and other anthologies. His last novel, Land That Moves, Land That Stands Still won the Colorado Book Award and the Mountain and Plains Booksellers Award. Nelson's new collection of stories (including "Alba") has just won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize.
He has traveled widely in search of birds (757 North American species) and has run the Pikes Peak Marathon twice. He lives in Ouray, Colorado.