Writing Fast-Paced Novels with Nicholas Kaufmann

Want to keep readers speeding through your novel? It’s all about pace. In this four-week workshop, multiple award-nominated author Nicholas Kaufmann will show you how to keep readers engaged.

Your Instructor: Nicholas Kaufmann, author of '100 Fathoms Below'

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: March 6, 2019 - April 3, 2019

Enrollment: 16 students

Price: $325

Class Description

It’s every writer’s dream to write a novel that readers can’t put down—but if you want to keep them turning the pages until late into the night you’ve got to keep up the pace.

Nicholas Kaufmann is the multiple award-nominated and critically-acclaimed author of six novels in the adventure, horror, and urban fantasy genres. The brisk, energetic pace of his novels has been highlighted in rave reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Rue Morgue, SF Signal, Mystery Scene, and many more. He has also worked in publishing, in bookselling, and for a literary and film agent. Now he’s here to share the tips he’s picked up along the way and show you how to make your novel fast-paced enough for today’s competitive publishing market.

What do we mean when we talk about pace?

Is there a difference between the pacing of an individual scene and the pacing of a novel?

How do you keep your readers focused and interested?

How can you use the structure of your novel to help keep the plot moving forward?

These questions and more will be answered in this four-week workshop, in which you will get in-depth written lectures, homework assignments that will be constructively critiqued by Nick and your fellow classmates, and invaluable advice from an author who has seen the book business from every different angle.

What This Class Covers

Week 1 Lecture: The Starting Gun

  • Crafting a strong opening to hook your readers right away
  • Using “in media res” to help set the pace from the beginning
  • The “shock” opening, when to use it and when not to

Week 2 Lecture: Zooming In

  • Focusing on the pace of an individual scene
  • Structuring your sentences to get your meaning across quickly, clearly, and directly
  • Knowing the difference between necessary and unnecessary detail
  • Maintaining focus on the elements you want your readers to pick up on
  • Understanding when slower, quieter scenes are needed even in fast-paced novels

Week 3 Lecture: Zooming Out

  • Focusing on the overall pace of a novel
  • Using sentence and paragraph structure to keep things moving
  • Utilizing cliffhangers, questions, and clues
  • Keeping the interesting and important elements front and center

Week 4 Lecture: Born to Run

  • Tried and true plot devices that will keep readers engaged from start to finish
  • Ticking clocks and the countdown to catastrophe
  • Keeping your characters on the run
  • Making sure your characters have clear, understandable, and crucial goals

Goals Of This Class

  • Learn how to write fast-paced prose without sacrificing your personal voice
  • Learn how to structure your novel to keep the pages turning
  • Identify stumbling blocks that will slow down your novel and cause readers to lose interest
  • Work with your instructor and your fellow students toward producing the best work possible
  • Leave class with the opening pages of your novel written and critiqued
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