Remember, from the syllabus:

Your pre-writing needs to work for you, so it could include a “back of the paperback” description of your novella, an outline, character sketches, a suspense-o-meter, an idea map, a list, a catalog of desires and dangers, a synopsis, a daily writing-task calendar, drafts of the first and last pages of your novella, and/or combinations of all the preceding. Whatever form it takes, your pre-writing needs to indicate a healthy degree of premeditation.


Here are the specific questions I’ll ask:

  1. Does the plan seem to act as a resource, a pool of ideas, a springboard for writing the text?
  2. Have direct methods of characterization like appearance, speech, and thoughts/desires /motivations been considered? Have indirect methods of characterization like relationships with other characters and immediate setting been considered?
  3. Is the importance of the main conflict to the character clear? Is how conflicts and characters might shape the plot of the novella obvious?
  4. Which actions will be summarized and which will be shown in scenes? Does the plan include efforts to control tension? Does the plan suggest a beginning and end of the novella?
  5. Have decisions about language (particularly point of view) been thoughtfully made? What themes may develop? What is the broader setting and how might it shape the story?


If you feel stuck or have questions, you should ask me.