In Search of the Novel
1 Who Owns the Novel?
This workshop probes the living nature of the novel by illustrating how each reader makes a novel his or her own. It shows how the interpretation of a novel can change, depending on the reader's culture, class, generation, gender, and personality.
2 What’s the Story?
Many different ways of telling the story are discussed. What are the conflicts, the crises, and the resolutions? This workshop explores how an author spins a story and why it is the most important aspect of the novel.
3 Are Novels Real?
Must a novel's setting and characters — and the characters' motivations and stories — bear some likeness to reality? This program explores how novels connect with readers. Teachers, students, and novelists probe the origins of stories.
4 Where Do Novels Come From?
This program explores the genesis of characters, plot, themes, and interpretation from the novelist's point of view. Participants examine the relationship between the novel and the objective reality from which it may spring.
5 Why Do I Have To Read This Book?
The qualities of the ten novels chosen are explored to see why they appear on recommended reading lists and what makes them award winners. The program also looks at the essential elements of good writing and storytelling.
6 What’s In It for Me?
A novel can transport readers to other places and times, real or imaginary, allowing them to meet people and experience life in many different ways.
7 Who Am I In This Story?
The reader steps into the novel in various roles: the protagonist, the narrator, the author, or another character.
8 Am I Getting Through?
In this summary, teachers examine their own effectiveness in helping students comprehend and appreciate novels and in setting them on the road to become lifelong readers.
12 Authors’ Notes I
Writers recall the genesis of the idea for their novel. Includes: Daniel Keyes, Orson Scott Card, Ernest Gaines, J. K. Rowling, Arthur Golden, Katherine Paterson, and others.
13 Authors’ Notes II
Writers share their thoughts on the qualities of a good story, character development, and writing dialog. Includes: Arthur Golden, Nora Roberts, Horton Foote, Ernest Gaines, Katherine Paterson, and others.
14 Authors’ Notes III
Writers talk about the writing that influenced them, how they learned to write, and the importance of a point of view. Includes: Katherine Paterson, Daniel Keyes, Leslie Marmon Silko, Ernest Gaines, Arthur Golden, J. K. Rowling, and others.