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  • C.M. O'Slatara


Tuesday, I'll be teaching a class on taking an idea and turning into a novel. Arguably, this is the hardest part of writing-- tackling the long form. It must be done in a way that is both cohesive and entertaining. And yet, it is on many people's bucket lists.

People have an idea, a story burning inside of them. It happens with the other arts, too. Sometimes people want to paint or learn a dance or they pick up a camera. But there is something about writing that seems less intimidating to people. It starts with a pen and paper-- objects we are familiar with-- and involves writing sentences-- something we do every day. And yet, the process takes so much longer than what most people are prepared for.

Painting a picture can take a day or weeks or even months (oil paint takes months to cure and fully dry). But just filling pages with words can take a year and that is only the first time you write it. You have to rewrite it. Edit it. You learn more about the craft and you scrap the whole thing and start over. You fill in plot holes and tie things together. Sharpen imagery, make voices distinct, have people read it and tell you what they think, have writers read it and tell you what did and didn't work. Then you need a professional editor, because even if you are one yourself, you are too close to the work to find the mistakes. And so how long does it take to write a novel? Years? Decades? A lifetime? And yet, here I am preparing for a class that I offered to teach near the end of sign ups, that sold out in a week, because people want to meet that challenge. It's their Everest. They are seedlings reaching for the light in the forest. And I couldn't be happier to help them grow.

Notes for this class are on the class tab on my website. If you would like me to teach a class on this topic or others, please contact me.


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