How great would it feel to write a novel?
To create a cast of characters, build a world for them to live in, send them on adventures, let them have epiphanies — and you are the puppet master in control of it all!
Do you have a great idea? A story you’ve always wanted to tell? Characters who are begging to be put to paper?
Maybe you’ve always wanted to write a novel but felt unsure of how to begin. Or maybe stopped writing because the task felt too daunting. A whole book? How do people write a whole entire book?
I’ve done it. Numerous times. And so can you. I promise. Let me help you get started.
Stop spinning your wheels and start writing your first draft! Based on my popular in-person workshop at The Writers Center, I have created a virtual do-it-on-your-own-time course in which you will:
- generate ideas for your novel
- write beginning scenes
- flesh out the plot
- get to know the characters and their motivations
- learn about story structure, conflict, world-building, and other craft topics
Work through each lesson on your own time. Each lesson (available in both audio and written format) includes:
- instruction on writing craft topics
- examples from published books
- writing exercises for you to complete
- optional reading assignments
By the end of this course you will have the beginning chapter(s) of your novel and a good idea of where you’re going next.
Getting Started on Your Novel is a general course is for writers of all genres: YA, MG, thriller, romance, literary fiction, memoir, etc. And it can help you whether this is your first attempt at writing a novel or something you’ve dabbled with before.
Ready to write a novel?
Getting Started on Your Novel is available only to paid subscribers of my email newsletter.
By signing up you will also have access to the entire course of Cultivating a Regular Writing Practice — a great companion course to Getting Started on Your Novel. Plus receive exclusive paid-only content every month, and access to past paid-only content like How I Found and Lost My First Agent.
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Want to know more about the course?
The lessons for Getting Started on Your Novel (or Memoir) are as follows. Each is be provided in both written and audio format and will contain multiple writing assignments to help you start generating pages.
- Lesson 1: The Big Idea.
- Brainstorm better ideas for your novel and get started writing an “exploratory first draft.”
- Lesson 2: Characters.
- Create stronger, more interesting characters, whether you’re writing a character-first or premise-first novel.
- Lesson 3: Setting & World-Building.
- Create a strong setting and hammer out details about your characters’ world, whether it’s fantasy, historical, contemporary, or otherwise.
- Lesson 4: Plot & Story Structure.
- Determine major plot points and make a map to guide you from beginning to end of your draft.
- Lesson 5: First Page, First Chapter, Next Steps.
- Learn how to hook readers with your first page and first chapter. Make plans to help you finish your first draft.
I will also give optional reading assignments from the following books:
—Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts by Matt Bell
—Save the Cat Writes a Novel: The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need by Jessica Brody
Want to know more about the instructor?
I’ve been writing seriously for over fifteen years, and I have a lot to share about what I’ve learned.
I received my MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of New Orleans, and my short stories have been published in literary magazines and nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
I’m also no stranger to the querying process, which had a happy ending for me: I am now represented by Ali Lake of Janklow & Nesbit. I am currently working with her on my YA paranormal thriller.
These days I write novels and teach workshops at The Writers Center in Bethesda, MD. In fact, I’ve written eight novels, though some of them shall never see the light of day.
I know how hard it can be to overcome the fear and excuses that might stand in the way of our writing journey. Writing a novel is HARD and it can feel quite overwhelming at times. But it can also be rewarding and fun. If writing a novel is one of your dreams, I can absolutely help you accomplish it.
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