Understand the conventions that make science fiction and fantasy novels work
Plan your own novel and begin writing your first chapter
Build foundational skills like worldbuilding, pacing, and characterization
Complete an outline to guide your full novel draft
About this course:
Science fiction and fantasy novels are immensely popular and have inspired some of our most beloved, successful, and long-lived media franchises. But speculative novels are challenging to write due to their complex settings, their need to orient readers to an entirely unique world and its rules, and the challenge of connecting audiences to characters who might not even be human. This workshop provides both aspiring and experienced writers with genre-specific tools necessary to plan and begin a sci fi or fantasy novel. We focus on establishing a new world and its characters in the first pages of the book, working on both foundational skills like characterization and pacing as well as the worldbuilding skills unique to this genre of fiction. This course includes a workshop of your first chapter. The goal is to complete a compelling opening, a first chapter of up to 25 pages, and a preliminary outline for the whole book over the first of this two-course sequence.