Novel Writing Essentials Course
Duration – 6 weeks
Where – anywhere! It’s online
Price – £50 without Tutor Feedback and Coaching (you can add coaching later if you wish)
Price – £100 with a 2000 word submission for Tutor Feedback at the start and end of the course
Price – £250 with Weekly Tutor Feedback and Coaching
The Novel Writing Essentials course is aimed at beginners and people who want to refresh their confidence and skills. This programme provides you with all the knowledge and skills you need to write a novel. It also supports you as a writer in two important ways. It provides support in each lesson by helping you to set goals and improve your confidence, and it provides you with theory and writing practice. If you select tutor support, you will also receive feedback on your weekly assignments from a professional tutor who is a published author, or an editor. This means that you are learning, practicing, developing and growing in confidence over the six weeks.
The course is divided into lessons which you access by logging into your online account. You have a 23 page workbook to download for the programme with exercises and activities to support the lesson and to put your learning to practice. You can save the workbook to your computer, or you can print it out as many times as you like to make notes and practice your new skills. You also have free access to the online forums Write Social and Coffee Break, to chat and share ideas with other writers.
There are three components to the course that work together to improve your skill and confidence as a writer. There is the theory and examples provided in the lesson itself, the workbook exercises that put that theory to practice, and there are the assignments which pull together the other two components. This method of learning works. It is only be actually writing, can you master the practice of writing. The exercises help you to grow as a writer, and all of them have a purpose related to your writing goals.
Each week you will be growing in competence and confidence as you read through the theory in the lesson, then put the theory into practice doing the workbook exercises. The different parts of the lesson will then be consolidated in the assignment you submit (for feedback if you have selected tutor feedback and coaching). Don’t attempt to do the whole lesson in one sitting. You will retain more information if you do a couple of the workbook activities at a time, and then break at the end before starting your assignment. This will allow your learning to embed. Each lesson should take you between 3 and 5 hours to complete in full. It is expected that you will spend most time on the assignment and completing the workbook, and so the theory and the lessons themselves are relatively short. Don’t worry if some assignments take more thought and time than others before you’re happy with them.
Lesson 1 – Write Fiction! and You
This lesson helps you set goals for the programme and for yourself as a writer. You will look at your confidence currently and what you feel you need to increase it. Learn about ideas for your novel and how to develop a strong concept and theme. Practice these in the exercises. Develop a piece of writing for your weekly assignment. If you have selected tutor feedback, at the end of this lesson you can upload up to 2000 words of a piece of writing of your choice for critique and review by your tutor, as well as your assignment.
Lesson 2 – Plot and Structure
Learn to develop the concept into a strong plot and we work on plot arc and sub plot, and developing strong scenes. Explore and experiment with the 4 essentials of a great plot and the 8 point plot arc.
Lesson 3 – Character
This lesson looks at making characters shine: the protagonist, and other characters. Learn about elements of character and the importance of conflict and goals. We introduce Mind mapping to help you get creative.
Lesson 4 – Dialogue
Your characters learn to speak like believable fictional characters in this lesson. With essential do’s and don’ts of dialogue construction, and different forms of dialogue such as subtext and indirect dialogue. Work on your confidence in writing dialogue.
Lesson 5 – Point of view
Explore and learn about different points of view and how they work in different ways. Experiment during the lesson with writing different points of view and get feedback on your assignment from your tutor.
Lesson 6 – After the First Draft
In the final lesson we provide you with a checklist to help you review your writing objectively, and talk through the most obvious mistakes that fiction writers make, so that you can avoid them! You will revisit your writing goals and levels of confidence to help you plan your next steps as a writer. In your final assignment you will submit 2000 words of your writing for a professional critique and advice specific to you.