Writing a whole novel will probably take you years. This should feel like a daunting prospect, and perhaps it’s become a paralyzing one. You may need to break the task down into more manageable goals. This course sets a clear target: don’t worry about the whole book for the moment, just concentrate on finishing the first chapter. If you can write a good first chapter, you can write a good second, third and fourth chapter. You can write a good novel.
This course is designed for people who’ve put serious thought and effort into writing a full-length work of fiction, with at least one eye on having it professionally published. It will consist of three two-hour seminar/workshops. One hour will be spent discussing the craft of writing, with handouts from a variety of novels, new and old. The other hour will be a workshop where you read your work in progress, and then others in the group discuss it.
The three topics will be:
1. The commissioning and publication process. A quick overview of how books are commissioned, what agents and editors do, and what they’re looking for from a debut novelist.
2. Storytelling techniques. How to hook the reader, introduce them to the world of the story, set up compelling characters. We’ll look at how stories are structured.
3. Editing. It’s never enough to just write down your first draft. You can always hone and refine what you’ve written.
You will have to be willing and able to dedicate time in November this year to writing around 5-8000 words, and to share your work in progress by letting the group offer feedback on it. If you have material written already, that’s great – but please be prepared to be unsentimental about it – you’ll want to rework, edit, possibly even completely rewrite what you already have.
Lance Parkinis a British author living in Cleveland. Best known for his Doctor Who books, including The Eyeless, Ahistory and Whoniverse, he has written or co-written around thirty books, including biographies of Alan Moore and Gene Roddenberry.