Open Strong: The Elements of Successful Novel Openings with Andromeda Romano-Lax

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ENROLLMENT CLOSED. A novel’s first pages do much more than just hook a reader. They form a contract, provide a blueprint, teach the reader how to interpret what comes next, and plant seeds that will blossom later in surprising and engaging ways. (And of course, opening pages are essential for piquing the interest of agents and editors.)

A strong novel opening presents the elements of fiction in microcosm: voice, character, story structure and more. This four week class will focus primarily on learning from contemporary literary novels about what openings must accomplish in order to earn the reader’s attention and trust. Consideration will be given to market demands—including mistakes agents expect writers to avoid—but also to the innovative ways that literary novels sometimes manage to defy formula. Student partials (up to 5 pages) will also be workshopped in weeks three and four.

4-Week Course

April 25 - May 23, 2015

About Andromeda Romano-Lax:

Andromeda Romano-Lax worked as a journalist, essayist, and travel writer before turning to fiction. Her first novel, The Spanish Bow, was translated into eleven languages and chosen as a New York Times Editor’s Choice and one of Library Journal’s Best Books of the Year. Her second novel, The Detour, was published in 2012. Andromeda co-founded an Alaska statewide literary organization and teaches in the University of Alaska Anchorage low-residency MFA program. She holds an MFA and Post-MFA Pedagogy Certificate from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her special interests include novel structure, revision, and lifelong strategies for developing as a writer. More about Andromeda: