So You Want to Write a Novel

with Barbara Shoup

Monday October 30, 2023 1:00pm US Central time • 2 hour workshop

One-time Zoom webinar

Perfect for
Fiction writers of any genre

Live attendance is not required: enrollees can watch the recording at any time after the workshop!

E.L Doctorow said, “A book begins as a private excitement of the mind.”

But how do you get from that private excitement of the mind to words on the page? Do you make an outline or just jump in? Do you choose point of view or does point of view choose you? What the heck is plot, anyway—and how do you sustain it? How do you get your characters to show you who they are?

This workshop will address these questions and others, as well as offering insight into the process of writing a novel and strategies to help you along the way. Students will work through a series of exercises to help them assess and find the focus of their novel idea, identify strong scenes to tell the story, and do a deep dive into their characters’ lives. Whether you’re just beginning, are well on your way, or have completed a first draft of a novel, this workshop will be of help to you.

Class outline

Zoom schedule

Everyone enrolled in this webinar will receive a copy of the recording afterwards, so you can review it later in case you missed it.

  • Monday October 30, 2023 1:00pm US Central time — 2 hours

How this workshop works

This workshop is a live Zoom webinar. Sign in from anywhere in the world and participate live as the instructor conducts the workshop, with time for Q&A at the end.

Student praise for Barbara Shoup

I will say that the single best thing I’ve done for myself was being part of your class. The things I’ve learned astound me even still. I am a much better writer and reader because of it. Truly grateful for all the knowledge and wisdom you’ve shared.

Over the last three years, you have provided me with helpful feedback, constant encouragement, and motivation to keep going with my memoir. Thank you for holding me accountable and for inspiring me with your own amazing work.

Thank you so much for creating and leading such an amazing workshop community. I know that I’ll smile every time I hear your voice in my head while I write and revise.

This class is so GD great. I know we say it all the time but it bears repeating. There are few times in life when you get to be aware of a golden age *while* it’s occurring and not in retrospect. This is certainly one of them.

This class is hands-down the best writing experience I’ve ever had.

I really got a lot of great ideas and learned knew ways of thinking/approaching writing from yesterday’s workshop.

So many of the ideas and suggestions that you touched on were very eye-opening to me! Honestly, I really didn’t know ‘what I didn’t know’ about opening myself up to writing and I really look forward to taking more workshops to delve into my virtually untapped “creative”

I’ve managed to finish an entire manuscript by the seat of my pants, but I’m not all that sure what I have. You’ve given me some confidence that I probably didn’t completely overlook any major rules or formulas! I found your ideas and suggestions practical and encouraging, and know I’ll keep them in mind as I work through my re-write.

Thanks for the inspiration and solid advice. You built a fire under me…a good thing! And so I’m off again to discover if I’m a fiction writer as well as a poet. Even if only a wannabe, being in your class was a winner. Thanks for the energy.

“Thanks for the workshop. The time flew by, which is a compliment to you. It was my first writing workshop so I am feeling quite smug now having crossed the threshold of my fear.”

I’ve taken undergraduate- and graduate-level fiction workshops, and I’ve participated in workshops at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, but no instructor has come close to matching the extensive, thoughtful comments offered by [Barbara Shoup].

I cannot tell you enough how much I enjoyed Barbara Shoup’s class! I could have listened to her talk and share her ideas for hours. The evening was encouraging and inspiring, and I left with new tools for my writing tool belt.

[Barbara Shoup] is an accomplished practitioner with an extraordinary talent for conveying her craft.

“Barb’s critiques of our members’ manuscripts are small masterpieces of instruction. She provides analysis of the text and strategies for improvement. Her rapport with writers is unique and refreshing. She is clearly a favorite among the distinguished moderators we invite and ask to return—in fact, last year we scheduled an extra workshop in novel writing specifically for her to lead. It filled immediately and was a great success. A terrific writer and teacher, Barb is the source of insights, techniques and strategies that transform our work.

This class was so refreshing! I’ve missed being a part of a creative process and didn’t feel uncomfortable as a beginner.

I’m so happy I came! I’ve been so intimidated about actually getting back to writing and having the courage to start.

I was frustrated with what I had written and this class gave me a great idea (or three) about how to rethink the work I have in progress.

About Barbara Shoup

Barbara Shoup

Barbara Shoup is the author of eight novels for adults and young adults, most recently An American Tune and Looking for Jack Kerouac, as well as a memoir about writing, A Commotion in Your Heart: Notes about Writing and Life, and Novel Ideas: Contemporary Authors Share the Creative Process. Her creative nonfiction has been published recently in Atticus, Ocotillo Review, and Another Chicago Magazine. The recipient of the PEN International Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Working Writer Fellowship for her YA novel Everything You Want, Shoup also received the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Regional Indiana Authors Award, two Creative Renewal Fellowships and an Artist Restart Grant from the Indianapolis Arts Councils, and numerous fellowships from the Indiana Arts Commission. Her YA novel, Wish You Were Here, was an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, the Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books Blue Ribbon Book, a Voya Best Young Adult Book and Perfect 10, and was named to the International Reading Association’s Young Adults Choice List. She is the writer-in-residence at the Indiana Writers Center, where she teaches writing to all ages, and on the faculty at Art Workshop International.

Other workshops starting soon

Monday October 30, 2023 1:00pm US Central time
2 hour workshop

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