Creative Writing: Novel Writing

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Learn the techniques of writing a novel with our creative writing courses in Sydney.

The interactive live online course will be delivered via Zoom platform, with a small class group.

Have you tried to start writing a novel and gotten stuck somewhere in the middle? Do you have a burning desire to get that story out of you and onto the page, and don’t know where to start? Or perhaps you’re plodding along with your novel, and you’re not sure if you’re doing it right…?

This practical course is designed to give you the skills to write engaging novels. It doesn’t matter what stage of writing you’re at, whether you’ve got the glimmer of an idea and can’t figure out where to start, or whether you’ve started and just need some guidance on the next step toward completion and publication, this course will give you the fundamental bricks for building your fiction novel, one word at a time.

Wherever you’re at, this course may help launch your writing career. On completion, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of fiction novel writing, along with a writer’s toolkit jam-packed with techniques and tips for creating engaging, must-read fiction. You’ll also have gained valuable insights into the world of publishing from an experienced, published author.

Outcomes

By the end of this novel writing course, you will:

  • have learned how to develop and craft compelling characters your readers will cheer for
  • understand and know how to draft plot outlines and story plans
  • know how to use scene and sequel to draw a reader along in the story
  • be able to optimise reader experience by using point of view, dialogue and setting to your advantage
  • know how to hook editors, agents and readers by creating an engrossing read they can’t put down
  • understand the steps involved to prepare a finished novel for submission or publication
  • gain valuable industry insights beyond the secret doors of publishing, and understand the process from story concept through to publication

Ideal for...

This course is suitable for beginners and students with some creative writing experience.

Course outline – in-class delivery

  • Week 1: Character - how to build compelling heroes, villains and supporting characters with objectives, motivation and conflict, and understand character interactions and their roles within the story
  • Week 2: Structure, plot & hooks - how to plan your story, develop an outline, ensure conflict is sustainable, and hook reader interest all the way through until "The End"
  • Week 3: Scene & sequel, tension & pacing - how to engage action and reaction, character insights and pivots, to create drive and direction, and assess the structural merits of a scene, and how to raise the stakes and ratchet the tension and control the pace of your story
  • Week 4: Point of view, dialogue & setting- how to utilise deep point of view and dialogue to conceal and/or reveal, and use setting as a character in your story
  • Week 5: Revision & editing- how to objectively assess your story for structural integrity, fix any issues, and edit and polish your story until it shines
  • Week 6: Synopses, submissions and publishing - how to write a synopsis, research editors, agents and publishers and prepare your manuscript for submission

Course outline – online delivery

Please note: The online course is a modified version of the full course, so the content and learning outcomes will be reduced to suit online delivery and the shorter course duration.

Please bring to each class...

  • a notebook with removable pages
  • pen or pencil
  • a laptop or tablet if this is what you prefer to write on (optional)

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This course has no current classes. Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join Waitlist

This course has no current classes. Please join our waitlist and we will notify you when we have places available. Join Waitlist

Course testimonials:

  • said: I really enjoyed this course, and found it very interesting. Shannon was awesome! Heaps of practical advice and experience, plus the lollies every week.. It could be longer to take more time over the plot elements...

  • said: An excellent course for beginners and for those with some writing experience... Shannon Curtis knows her stuff, has published many books and imparts her experience, strength and hope with a minimum of fuss. Great value and a terrific tutor. Well done Sydney Community College - another happy client.

  • said: The teacher was knowledgeable, engaging and very experienced. She was well prepared and encouraging in the craft of writing.

  • said: ...helped me better understand what I wanted out of my story, and a lot of helpful tips on how to plot, plan and execute. Her inside knowledge about how to get published was very helpful... Some lessons which more advanced writers might find too basic, but people who are just starting out would find this course hugely helpful. That said, after finishing the course, I went back and revised completed chapters for the better, all thanks to Shannon's pointers and tips.

  • said: Shannon is a great teacher! Very open and sharing about what she knows. Highly recommended!

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