We have 10 places left at a 10% discount for our Creative Writing for Beginner's course on 7th May, and 10 for Constructing a Novel. To save your space, book today.

How to Write a Novel

Learn how to structure and develop the first draft of your novel – whether it’s crime, fantasy, young adult, children’s fiction or any other genre.

Over 14 weeks of teaching and one-to-one feedback you’ll work towards completing a draft, and see an extract of your work published and distributed to Penguin Random House editors.

£799 £719 (10 discounts left)

Delivery Online
Tutors Barbara Henderson
Duration 14 weeks
Time Commitment 10-15 hours per week
Payment Options In full, or in three monthly instalments
Next Course Date 7th May
Future Course Dates 2018 18th June


How to Write a Book: Constructing a Novel course benefits

Find Your Voice

Develop your own style and voice, produce a firm outline and structure for your novel and make significant progress with your first draft.

One-to-One Feedback

Gain a practical approach to the process of writing a book, combining the teaching of essential techniques with one-to-one feedback and case studies.

See Your Work in Print

Have a 3,000 word extract from your prospective novel included in a limited edition anthology and distributed to Penguin Random House Editors.

Course Contributors

Throughout the online book-writing course you’ll have access to videos, podcasts, articles and interviews from best-selling and award-winning author contributors such as Ian McEwan, Joanne Harris and Sophie Kinsella.

Weekly Overview

  • Week 1: So, What Kind of Novel?
    So, how to start writing a book? Discover the different forms a novel can take, and decide which of these you'll choose for your story.
  • Week 2: The Story World
    Develop an entire world. Use your imagination and learn how to write a story world for your novel.
  • Week 3: Research
    Discover the different types of research that writers undertake, and how proper research can ensure that your novel-writing is accurate, multi-layered and original.
  • Week 4: The Writing Process
    Avoid writer's block by establishing a routine that will assist you when writing a 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.

Tips from Our Expert Novelists

Many critically-acclaimed, bestselling and award-winning novelists have contributed to our Constructing a Novel course.

We interviewed some of them about writing books, their own first book and asked what advice they would give to new writers regarding how to write a book.

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