Joe Jon-Knight

Constructing a Novel

“In January 2015 I started looking for a suitable writing course to participate in: I had written a draft novel, but I felt that it was lacking the professionalism and the writing skills that most accomplished authors have. After deciding I would like to study with The Writers’ Academy, I actually chose to do the Creative Writing for Beginners course first. I believed at the time that if I jumped in at the deep end into a more advanced course, I might not understand certain concepts or themes.

“The Constructing a Novel course enabled me to explore and understand my main protagonist, tighten the story and I used all the assignments as extracts for my next draft. One aspect of the course I truly enjoyed was the Q&A with the Editor. It became clear that these sessions were not just about writing in general but about the business side of publishing. The Editor’s industry expertise was invaluable and priceless.

“At the end of the course, I purchased an Editor’s Review. I found the response from the editor outstanding. I could tell from the review that the editor was of a high calibre and their experience was all too evident. The golden nugget of information that the Editor gave to me was the fact that I should inject more of the consciousness of the protagonist into my writing. I felt that this was the ‘Eureka’ moment that I was looking for. It made my writing complete. In my opinion, the Editor’s Review is the ‘icing on the cake’, as they offer valuable insights into your writing from an industry expert.

“Currently I am writing my novel in its entirety. The good thing about doing the course was that it enabled me to get a grip with the story, iron out any unresolved issues, and enhance the main protagonist’s investigative techniques and their character.

“The course tutor, Barbara Henderson, is a nurturing teacher who not only imparts valuable writing techniques and styles, but carefully cultivates your ability as a writer and instils confidence in your abilities as you proceed with the course. With every assignment, she would offer suggestions to enhance your writing techniques, alongside correcting any grammatical issues and suggesting possible scenarios to improve the story scene itself, whether it is to enhance character interactions or to the settings. Many tutors would only provide the barest marking and provide no feedback. Barbara went above and beyond to ensure that all students learnt a great deal from these courses. Her patience and understanding was very evident. These are essential qualities for turning amateurs into professional writers. I felt extremely proud to have been taught by Barbara and I’m sure that many students feel the same way.

“My final comment should be about the course managers, and to the whole team at The Writers’ Academy. I was very impressed with the way they organised these courses. If I had a query, the course managers dealt with them promptly and efficiently. These courses were successful due to the high level of professionalism the team displayed.

“I spent around fifteen months of my life invested in these two courses, and it’s been truly worth it. I would definitely recommend these courses to anyone who has an inkling of becoming an author. These courses were not just about learning a few techniques, but they instilled a belief that writing a novel and obtaining a publishing contract is a distinct possibility.”

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