Constructing a Novel
The course is run entirely online: there are no live lectures or tutorials, or set times to log in, meaning you have the flexibility to study wherever and whenever best suits you.
Find Your Voice
Over fourteen weeks, you will develop your own writing style and voice, producing a firm outline and structure for your novel and making significant progress towards completing the first draft.
A realistic and practical approach to the process of writing, combining the teaching of essential techniques with one-to-one feedback and close reading of your extracts.
See Your Work in Print
Have a 3,000 word extract from your prospective novel included in a limited edition anthology which will be distributed to Penguin Random House Editors.
Week 1: So, What Kind of Novel?
Where to start? Discover the different forms that a novel can take and which of these you will choose for your story.
Week 2: The Story World
Develop an entire world. Use your imagination and draft the story world of your novel.
Week 3: Research
Investigate the different types of research that writers undertake and how research can ensure that your novel is accurate, multi-layered and original.
Week 4: The Writing Process
Avoid writer’s block by establishing a writing routine to assist you in moving forward with your novel.
Week 5: Narrative Voice
Narrative voice encapsulates both perspective and tone of voice. Find a voice for your novel that engages readers.
Week 6: Structure and Organising Your Ideas
Having an effective structure allows you to finish a first draft and leaves you with nothing to worry about but the words. Look at a number of possible structures that you can apply to your novel and adapt to your needs.
Week 7: Choosing Your Words
Investigate effective writing styles and consider how the language you use can have a distinct effect on your reader.
Week 8: Pacing and Momentum
It is crucial that your plot captivates your reader. Learn how to sustain your reader’s attention for the duration of your novel.
Week 9: The Soft Middle
Look in detail at the mid point of a novel; a common setback for many writers.
Week 10: The Last Chapter
Start exploring how your novel will end.
Week 11: Beginnings
Investigate the opening chapters of various different novels to help you perfect the beginning of your own story.
Week 12: Making Your Novel Cohere
Bring together the completed elements of your novel to create a unified whole from disparate parts.
Weeks 13 and 14: Writing
Use the remaining two weeks to work on longer extracts and to reflect on your writing before submitting it to be bound in a limited edition anthology containing an extract of each course participant’s work.