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Novel writing bootcamp - 12 Month Course, 10 Spaces Available

Everyone’s got a book in them. But few people turn that book from an idea into something real. If you want to become one of the few, this course will get you there.

Whether you’ve started a novel you can’t finish, or you’re struggling to write your first few words, you’ll learn everything you need to get to the end.

The course combines self-coaching techniques, goal-setting and practical writing exercises designed to get you the result you want: a finished novel.

1) Choosing and growing an idea that you really love.

You’ll learn where to look for inspirational story ideas that you will feel driven to write, and choose the right idea for you to write. You’ll discover how to move from a seed of an idea, to a coherent plan designed to see you through to the end.

Assignment:

You’ll be asked to suggest three different story ideas and define them using no more than two sentences. These ideas can be completely new, or can be novels you’re already writing.

2) Goal setting.

You’ll learn how and why goal setting is a vital part of the creative writing process. You’ll find out how to set meaningful, achievable goals that you can stick to and that are designed to encourage, not damage, your creative spirit. And you’ll learn techniques that will help you beat self-doubt and write.

Assignment:

You’ll be asked to come up with some short and long-term writing goals, including goals that will allow you to write one of the story ideas you came up with in Module One.

3) Genre and style.

You’ll learn about different genres, and whether your novel fits into one of them. You’ll consider whether genre and genre expectations matter to you and your novel. You’ll see how to develop your writing style so that it reflects your writing goals.

Assignment:

You’ll be asked to do a free-writing exercise of at least 500 words, from any point inyour novel. You’ll use this piece of writing to analyse your style.

4) Character.

You’ll learn how to create authentic characters that you and your reader will care about. You’ll see why ‘character is plot and plot is character’, and begin to be guided through your plot by your characters. You’ll choose a strong main character to be your most important guide.

Assignment:

You’ll be asked to develop a detailed pen sketch of your main character, including their history, their connections and their relationship to the world in which your story is to be told.

5) Point of view and narrative.

You’ll learn to experiment with different ways of telling your story, using different characters’ points of view. You’ll learn about the different narrative techniques you can use to make your story more compelling. You’ll learn how to get under the skin of your story.

Assignment:

You’ll be asked to think of a key scene in which something important will happen to your main character. You’ll be asked to write this scene twice: once from your main character’s perspective, and once from a different character’s perspective.

6) Plot.

You’ll learn about the different theories of plot and begin to understand how you can use them to aid your own plotting process (whether you choose to stick to them or not). You’ll see when it’s a good idea to follow the rules, and when you should break them.

Assignment:

You’ll create a compelling plot plan that will be your writing guide and friend as you progress through your novel.

7) The Beginning.

You’ll learn what makes a great beginning that will inspire people to keep on reading until the end, using the plan you made in Module Six and the work you’ve done on character to guide you. You’ll find out how to deal with the self-doubt that can make getting started difficult.

Assignment:

You’ll write at least the first 500 words of your novel. If you’ve already got a draft, you’ll redraft using the insight you’ve gained so far.

8) The Middle.

You’ll learn how to keep your story interesting and engaging as you write its middle. You’ll learn how to increase tension intelligently and create the perfect story arc. You’ll learn how to connect your middle to your end and your beginning.

Assignment:

You’ll write scene-by-scene plan for the middle of your novel.

9) The End.

You’ll learn about the different approaches you can take to writing an ending. You’ll discover how to choose an ending that will leave your reader thinking and talking. You’ll learn how you can create satisfaction, even if you want to leave your ending ambiguous.

Assignment:

You’ll write the last scene of your novel.

10) Connecting your story up.

You’ll learn how to make sure your story works as a whole, from beginning to end. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve written it all or not: this module will show you how to evaluate your work objectively, making sure it hangs together brilliantly, from the first word to the last.

Assignment:

You’ll take a look back at the writing you’ve done so far, and your plan. You’ll consider what has worked as you expected, and what has been difficult. You’ll use your findings to re-plan and rework.

11) Continuing your writing.

You’ll learn how to beat your inner critic and keep writing, even when you don’t want to. You’ll learn techniques that will allow you to keep on being creative through all life’s distractions and demands. You’ll see how you can make creativity part of your life, every day.

Assignment:

You’ll be asked to identify any blocks or everyday difficulties that you come up against while writing. You’ll then be asked to find inventive solutions that will allow you to smash past these blocks.

12) Editing and sharing.

You’ll learn how to edit and redraft so that you end up with the finished, polished story you want. You’ll see why being brave and sharing your work with others will make you a better writer. You’ll understand the importance of good editing.

Assignment:

You’ll take the first chapter of your novel, and edit it, taking into account everything that you’ve learned so far. You’ll use this exercise to draw lessons that will help you write and edit the rest of your book until it’s ready to be shared.

 

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