Most writers are born with one literary gift: An innate ability to write a beautiful sentence, perhaps. An ear attuned for authentic dialogue. An intuitive grasp of story structure. Or a vivid imagination.
But almost no writer is born with all of these tools… And almost no novel in today’s crowded marketplace gets read without all of these tools (and then some) being expertly wielded from page one to THE END.
As writers hoping to delight readers, we must not only hone our natural strengths, but also identify and shore up weaknesses. We must stretch ourselves to become competent at those aspects of craft we typically avoid in favor of what came easy to us early in our relationship with the muse.
A Novel Journey Intensive is for the dedicated writer of novel-length fiction—the writer who wants to fast-track the development of a formidable storytelling arsenal, which might otherwise take years to develop in isolation. Conducted over two intense days, in eight individual workshops, with expert guidance, insightful critiques of your work, and in a craft-forging crucible of your peers, you will learn everything you need to know to confidently tackle your first (or next) novel.
While participating requires attending all eight daytime sessions, ANJers are free to attend any other SCWC functions, such as special guest speakers, agents panel, Rogue workshops, etc., when ANJ is not in session. Participants may also leave to attend optional pre-scheduled one-on-one appointments with advance submission readers.
SD30 A Novel Journey Intensive will cover the following:
- Getting Ideas & Knowing Whether They Can Sustain a Novel
- Creating a Protagonist Readers Want to Root For
- Casting: Every Character Thinks They’re the Hero of Your Story
- Point of View: Perspective, Tense, & Intimacy for Maximum Drama
- Theme: The Unifying Force That Binds Plot & Character
- The Art & Science of a Powerful Premise
- Payoff Scenes: Conjure the Set Pieces That Hook Readers Like Magic
- Don’t Call it an Outline: Sequence Your Scenes Like Trail Markers
- The Secret Structure of Dramatic, Emotional, & Meaningful Scenes
- Narrative Drive: How to Maintain Tension & Suspense in Prose
- Page One Requirements: 5 Things You Must Do to Hook a Reader
- Process: The Daily Domination of the Blank Page
Please note that this track is limited to 20 participants and requires Full Conference pre-registration. Indicate desire to join A Novel Journey Intensive by choosing the appropriate online registration option in Step I, or use the contact form to let us know if you’ve already registered before the option was provided. Participants will also have the opportunity to submit material in advance for review and critique by the instructors, and for Claudia and Jeremy to personalize the material to the participants.
The cover letter should state your reason for interest in Novel Journey. Do you have a specific story problem you need help solving? A character in need of deepening, or a need for increased tension? Let us know what you’d like help with. Addressing your weaknesses and strengths as you see them will also allow us to tailor the workshop to your needs.
Give us your story idea in one or two pages. If you don’t have the story worked out yet, no worries, just give us the high spots, i.e. genre, protagonist (include lacks and desires) and a brief plot outline.
First Four Pages:
Submit the first four pages of your story, double-spaced, 12 point New Times Roman font, 1″ margins. If you haven’t completed them yet, send us a writing sample so that we have an idea of your writing style. Acceptable formats include MS Word or .pdf format. Email the requirements to: firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael will forward them to us).
NOTE: There is no additional fee for submitting material to ANJ. Please put “SCWC ANJ Submission” in the subject line of your e-mail, and send your pages as DOC, RTF or PDF attachments.
Staffed by Jeremy Lee James & Claudia Whitsitt
Jeremy Lee James writes lyrical, action-packed page-turners that often cross genres. Claudia Whitsitt (Between the Lines) says of his series, The Nephilim Chronicles: “[A]n urban fantasy on thriller steroids that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. Douglas Bornemann (The Demon of Histlewick) remarked of his work, “The pace is relentless, the characters compelling, the writing bold and gritty, and the craftsmanship, superb…Highly, highly recommend!” A familiar face at the SCWC, Jeremy, our webmaster, designed the website you’re surfing right now. His company, Write Click Media, LLC, specializes in author websites as well as e-commerce systems for small businesses
Claudia Whitsitt is an award-winning author and former special education teacher. Her debut novel, The Wrong Guy, was published by Echelon press to raves. The plot was based on personal experiences, having attended Eastern Michigan University on the heels of the serial murder of seven college coeds, dubbed “the Michigan Murders” by the media. Her experiences with identity theft and stalking also led her to write Identity Issues, which she published as her second novel, the first in Claudia’s popular Samantha Series. Intimacy Issues followed with Internal Issues and Inherited Issues, the most recent. The Wrong Guy and the Samantha Series have also been re-released independently, officially establishing Claudia as a full-on indie author-publisher. Her latest, a stand-alone, tells the story of three girls who become friends during the racially-charged aftermath of the 1967 Detroit Riots. Between the Lines receives rave reviews from all ages and recently garnering an honorable mention in the MiddleGrade/YoungAdult category of the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Awards.