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Novel writing - 12 Month Course

Writing a novel is something many people dream about doing, but few actually achieve. You might have a good idea that you think would make a great book – everyone has a novel in them – but how do you transfer that idea to the page and expand it to become a full length work of fiction?
 

This step by step course offers you the chance to take that dream of writing a book and make it a reality. Split into 12 sections and with assignments set at each section, you’ll learn how to take your great idea, expand it, plot it, and actually write that novel. You’ll learn about finding your voice, how to control pace and build tension, and how to take your early draft to a polished, saleable book.
 

You’ll have 12 months to complete the course and you’ll receive personal feedback on all your assignments, giving you the guidance and encouragement to finish your novel to the best standard possible.
 

1) Ideas and research.
 

In this section you’ll learn how to recognise which ideas are potential novels and which aren’t, how to capture ideas and what to do with them next.
 

Assignment:

Decide on your central idea and write, in essay format, what your idea for a novel is and how and why you think it will work as a full length book.
 

2) Characters and setting.
 

Characters and setting are usually the first aspects of your novel you decide upon. In this section you’ll learn how to create fully rounded characters and a believable setting for your story.
 

Assignment:

Write a list of your characters and give them their lives. Include as much detail as possible and describe the setting.
 

3) The story.
 

The story is the backbone of your novel and the most important aspect of the whole process. As such, it’s vital that you understand what your story is. Learn how to get to grips with your story and understand how it works.
 

Assignment:

Write your story in two or three sentences only to give you absolute clarity. Next, write a more detailed version, including your planned ending if you have one
 

4) Plot and structure.
 

What’s the difference between plot and story? Does your novel need a structure? Have these questions answered and receive advice and information on how to plot your novel and understand structure.
 

Assignment:

Write a worksheet explaining your plot and structure, including your main plot and any sub plots you’ve decided upon.
 

5) Finding your voice.
 

Understanding what a writer’s ‘voice’ is and how to recognise your own can be tricky at first. Many first time writers struggle before they hit their writing voice stride. In this section you’ll be assigned some exercises to help you locate your own distinctive writing voice.
 

Assignment:

Write out a scene from your planned novel.Include your scene in your assignment without changes and then write a paragraph explaining your thoughts on the style you’ve written in.
 

6) Beginning.
 

Beginnings need to grab readers and make them want to read on. But how do you pull off this difficult trick? Get tips and advice on how to write an attention grabbing beginning that stays relevant to your novel.
 

Assignment:

Write the beginning of your book. If you feel confident enough write your first chapter, alternatively a couple of pages or a few paragraphs should be enough to show if you’ve got the beginning of your novel right.
 

7) Building tension and keeping pace.
 

One of the most difficult aspects of writing your novel is how to control the pace and build tension in the right places. Learn some easy to understand tools for creating tension and keeping the pace moving at the right speed for your story.
 

Assignment:

Write a scene that builds tension and shows how you control the pace. This can be a planned scene from your novel or something totally different.
 

8) Getting to the end.
 

Endings are harder than beginnings. How many times have you been disappointed by the ending to a book, film, or TV show? Learn how to craft satisfying endings for your readers as you wind up your story and get ready to write The End.
 

Assignment:

Think of a book, film, or TV series that gave you a disappointing ending, and re-write the end of this story as you would have liked it to be, explaining why.
 

9) The first draft.
 

You’ve done your ground work, you’ve learned how to prepare, and now it’s time to actually write your first draft. Get advice on seeing your story through to the end and on how to take it one step at a time as you live your dream and write your book.
 

Assignment:

Write the first draft of your novel.
 

10) Re-writing.
 

In this section you’ll learn how to perform your first re-write on your first draft. Get advice on how to approach your novel at this stage and what you should be looking for in the process of the re-write.
 

Assignment:

Take the first draft of your novel, and re-write it.
 

11) The line edit and the copy edit.
 

What is a line edit and a copy edit? Find out what the difference is between the two and why they are both vital to producing a finished, polished novel. Learn how to perform each of these tasks on your own book.
 

Assignment:

Perform a copy edit and a line edit on your manuscript.
 

12) Agents and publishers.
 

Congratulations, you’ve written a novel! Now it’s time to let the world read it. In this final section you’ll learn about query letters to agents, approaching publishers and how to write a synopsis and cover letter.
 

Assignment:

Research and find who you want to send your book to. Make a list. Write your synopsis and cover letter.

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