If you are looking for a course that gives you a more in-depth approach to Novel Writing this course is for you.
Over the 10 weeks you will learn about and put into practise some of the key skills and writing techniques needed to create a fantastic story. Guided by your expert tutor you will explore the ways to bring your idea to life.
Each week you will explore the discipline and through homework exercises start to build your story.
* Generate original ideas and establish what kind of writer you want to be and what your target market is
* Improve your writing style and find a distinctive voice that grabs attention
* Understand the underlying principles of narrative and pace, and begin to craft your novel's structure, as well as exploring the importance of the way you open and close your novel
* Get to grips with character and get under the skin of your protagonists to make them feel as real as they can be
You have the option either to generate a new idea at the beginning of the course that you then develop over the successive exercises, or to devote time to an existing idea in which you believe. Either way, by the time the course finishes you will be several steps closer to writing your novel.
Thanks Rebecca - the course (and your feedback) has been worth its weight in gold and I've enjoyed every minute. I'm going to carry on with my story... Your guidance has definitely made me a better writer, so thanks again. Badger
...just a last note to say thanks for running a fantastic course. I've learned so much and have had an excellent chance to exercise my creative muscles and get into a routine of writing regularly. L Milan
Such a shame that we're coming to the end of the course, so it's great that we can still come back here and use this space as a group, thanks :) Also want to thank you, Rebecca, and everyone on the course for being so helpful, friendly and supportive - it's been a great experience for me, and despite all the pains and pressures, I definitely feel like I've had my writing wings stretched. Martin
I've found this course invaluable. I feel like I've emerged from it a writer, or at least with the potential to become one. Sophs
How do you generate ideas? How can you make them conform to a genre, and how can you judge if something is marketable or not? We explore the initial creative process, from finding the initial spark of an idea to crafting it into a genuinely sellable concept.
Agents’ time is precious; you need to grab them from the first page. We look at what makes people want to read on and what turns them off, as well as exploring the idea of “hooks” and how to plant the seeds that set up your story.
How can you make the world of your book feel real? We discuss the importance of time and place, how they affect mood and tone, and how the backdrop against which they exist can shape the personality of your characters.
Two key areas that new writers struggle to master are, “show, don’t tell”, and points of view. We investigate how you can subtly make readers understand your characters, rather than feeding them information, as well as when and how should you employ multiple perspectives, and how you can avoid shifting between different characters’ points of view.
We explore the two mainstays of prose, description and dialogue. What should the function of description be? How does dialogue affect character perceptions, when should it be used, and how can you valuably use subtext?
Some authors are instantly recognisable from a few lines. We explore what makes a distinctive and original voice and how you can find yours, and look at the difference between authorial and narrative first/third person voices.
Strong, believable characters that generate empathy can make a good novel into a great one. We look at how to create and build a character, from naming and physical details right through to the psychology and back-story that may not even make it on to the final page.
Without a solid, gripping plot and structure behind it, your novel won’t impress an agent in today’s world. We investigate the idea of the dramatic arc, look at plotting techniques designed to help you know where you’re going, explore how to utilise sub-plots and discuss the importance of pace and dramatic tension.
How do you know when your work is finished? We look at moving beyond the first draft, “killing your darlings” and knowing when to listen to others and when to trust your own judgement.
The end of a novel is as important as the beginning; we explore different types of ending, and then move on to the process beyond the final full stop: releasing your work into the world.
Rebecca lives in south London.
She has published two literary novels, THE ART OF LOSING (2009) and TOLD IN SILENCE (2010), with Fourth Estate (HarperCollins), and is currently working on a literary crime novel.
Rebecca graduated from Oxford University, where she read English Language and Literature, in 2001.
She has worked as an agent's assistant, an assistant producer developing programme ideas for major television production companies, and a market researcher. (Publisher's biog of Rebecca here.)
Our courses are hosted on our own community site, The Word Cloud, which is a very friendly, intuitive and supportive writing community.
The tools and environment are very intuitive and easy to use: you won't have a problem. Each week, courses will include:
• A video introduction
• A written 'lecture'
• Interactive classroom discussion
• A writing exercise on the week's topic
• Feedback on your homework
All the course material can be accessed at any time of day or night. If you miss a few days, it will be easy to catch up. You are also warmly encouraged to interact with fellow-students - offer advice, give feedback and make friends. Find out more about how our courses work here.