How To Write A Novel
A 12-week online course
- Starts May 6th
- Hone your skills over 30 optional writing tasks
- Get detailed feedback on a formally assessed assignment
- Join lively discussions about writing with your tutor and other students
- Discover the basics of plot, character, dialogue, and learn how to edit effectively
How to Write a Novel is an online course that does exactly what is says on the tin, without an unrealistic promise or a quick fix in sight. There is no secret; writing a novel is hard work, but the creative process can be learned, practiced, and improved.
This online writing course will help you to break down what looks like a huge and complex project into a series of manageable tasks, each of which will move your novel forward to successful completion.
Whether you’ve written a novel before, haven’t yet started, or are somewhere in the middle of your journey, this course can help.
I thoroughly enjoyed this course and would recommend it to anyone with even a slight amount of seriousness in wanting to become a writer. It awakened in me a creativity that I barely knew existed and was an invaluable challenge and learning process with an extremely accommodating and accomplished tutor. I would say to new students: be prepared to find within you something precious and valuable that will take over your life but realise then that it absolutely should!” John Yarrow
Who is it for?
How to Write a Novel Online is an intermediary-level course (the equivalent of a university Level 2 undergraduate unit). This course is open to anyone who is writing (or wants to write) a novel, and is intended to offer constructive and practical advice on how to successfully complete a book-length project and then, hopefully, sell it.
How will I learn?
This online novel writing course is divided into four easy to navigate online teaching modules, each one comprising:
- a discussion forum
- a detailed lesson
- required reading
- extras (hints and tips)
- short writing tasks
- more detailed critical and creative exercises
Each module builds upon the last, and will become available as the course progresses.
How long is it for?
The course lasts for three months, allowing three weeks per teaching module, and is written entirely by the tutor. Unlike most online and correspondence courses, the tutor is live and online for a full day each week to guide and to comment on your writing.
What sort of feedback do I get?
There are approximately thirty optional writing tasks and exercises to undertake, intended to illustrate key points and to help you practice. You can discuss and get feedback on these on a weekly basis.
There is one formally assessed assignment which is required to officially pass the course and receive a certificate.
The teaching programme is both progressive and holistic, and students are encouraged to cherry pick writing exercises based on their individual needs and interests, as well as what is practical for them. (This is not ‘homework’, there is nothing to ‘˜fail’, and you work at the pace that suits you.) The assessed piece will be the first two chapters of a novel (up to 5000 words), and will receive very detailed editorial feedback by the tutor (a professional author and editor).
The online novel writing course contains the following modules:
- The Essential Components of any Novel: This module introduces the central tenets of any prose narrative: Character, Dialogue, Story and Setting.
- Perspective, Plot and Pacing:“ This module considers point of view and dramatic pacing, while also exploring genre conventions and the practical application of story archetypes.
- Planning and Writing a Novel: This model will teach you how to apply the above skills in conceiving and structuring an original novel, and how to ensure that you complete the project.
- Editing and Publishing:“ This module will teach you to be a professional writer. You will learn the skills required to turn a complete first draft into a polished novel, and how to choose and approach literary agents and publishers.
This online novel writing course is a writer’s workshop, offering the opportunity to share your work in a friendly, supportive and creative online community. By the end of the course, you will be able to critique your own writing, recognising strengths and weaknesses of composition, edit your own work, and have the knowledge to complete a sustained narrative, take it to the final draft, and approach an agent with confidence.
‘This course has really given me a buzz and a springboard to completing an idea which I had in my head, managed a rough draft but didn’t know where to go from there. Stephen has introduced me to some incredibly talented fellow writers on this online course and we spark off each other, creating friendly and encouraging discussions and critique on our work in progress. Stephen has given me invaluable and in depth advice and suggestions on the exercises, and I am amazed that indeed, I do have the will and tools to do this. I would highly recommend this course to anyone, Stephen’s knowledge of the writing industry is incredible and his encouragement has really helped me to focus on bringing my ideas to life.’ Jane Markland
Booking your place
Booking a place on ‘How To Write a Novel’ is easy, and takes under a minute. To sign up, click ‘Book Your Place’ and follow the instructions on the next screen. Your payment will be processed securely via PayPal.
After creating an account, you will be contacted by your new Unthank tutor to welcome you to the course and provide a link to Unthank School’s virtual learning environment.