Description of Class
So you’ve graduated from one of our Novel in a Year or Memoir in a Year classes, and you’re mid-draft. A great place to be! Even if it doesn’t feel like it! You’ve got momentum and you’re jazzed to keep going, or maybe you’re freaking out and stuck and realizing that middles are the hardest part. (How on earth do you build a bridge you’re standing on?) What’s next? Long Haul has you covered.
The Long Haul: Continuing a Book-Length Project is specifically designed for graduates of Novel in a Year (First Draft, YA/MG, or Speculative) or Memoir in a Year who are continuing with their works-in-progress. Many books take multiple years to bring to the finish line, and this class will provide structure and strategies to help you stay the course. Students will join a writing cohort that shares a commitment to the process.
This is the low-commitment, lower-cost bridge class to get you from NIAY or MIAY to our Revise & Launch class, or just to manuscript completion and worldwide fame, whichever comes first. It’s structured quite differently from our other yearlong classes (see below!) to provide maximum benefit without demanding too much time away from your own writing.
HOW IT WORKS
Students will meet monthly for two-hour sessions (note: not three hours, as in NIAY and MIAY) to discuss challenges and breakthroughs, share ideas, and listen to craft lectures from class leader and StoryStudio Artistic Director Rebecca Makkai. In our craft discussions, we will delve deeply into some of the craft issues that only tend to come up mid-draft, the “Wait a second what the hell am I writing?” issues. We’ll talk about restructuring, mid-novel sag, maintaining high stakes, retroactive outlining, the specifics of point of view (point of telling, the ear of the story, glossing, intended audience), endings (oh boy), keeping the faith, framing, the market, architecture, and anything else that comes up as a point of interest or crisis for the group. We will maintain a strong focus on accountability, by setting and reporting on personal writing goals. And of course we’ll eat, drink, and be merry.
Unlike in your previous classes, there is no workshop component. Instead, you’ll receive short published pieces to read in advance of class, usually no more than five pages. (For instance, before discussing point of view, we might look at the way several different authors establish point of view in their early pages.)
Between class sessions, you’ll have plenty of time to write and revise while still staying in touch with other students via StoryStudio’s private online class forum. Vent, fantasize, brainstorm, or just use it to discuss who’s bringing snacks. The forum is also a great place to voluntarily exchange work with each other for feedback.
The optional bonus offering of Long Haul is personalized manuscript consultations:
In addition to monthly meetings as a collective, students can opt to meet with Rebecca individually on an as-needed basis. Participants will have the opportunity to meet with Rebecca for full or partial manuscript reviews for an additional fee of $100 per one-hour meeting, and $3 a page. The consultation will include line edits and a written critique letter. You might choose to meet several times, or just once; you might choose to meet about 20 pages (or no pages at all—sometimes you just need to brainstorm) or the whole novel. (Some math help, for the right-brained among us: A one-hour consultation of 10 pages would cost $130. A one-hour consultation on a 300- page manuscript would cost $1000. Feel free to mix and match as many pages and hours as you wish. Please note that elsewhere in the world, full manuscript critiques often cost between $2000 and $5000.) Or maybe you never want to meet. That’s cool too. We envision this as the “Montessori” manuscript class: the one where you can work at your own pace and get help when you need it.
Please be Advised: To register for this course, you must have graduated from a previous Novel in a Year or Memoir in a Year. (We don’t care if you’ve taken a few years off, though!) We plan to host novelists and memoirists together in one group, but if we have an abundance of each, we may dedicate a separate cohort to memoir. Students may repeat The Long Haul as many times as they’d like. We want to get you all the way there!Top