Novel Writing 101 – Lesson 1 and 2


Now that I am qualified as a Library Assistant and I have completed Styling Essentials, lots of new things are in the works.

I decided to take a novel writing course – a short one – online – so that I can further develop enhance my skills in that area of writing, so I am not just freely blogging, or typing away with no thought. Novel writing is not careless, it is complex, and there is so much to it that I thought it would be a challenge to take up a new course in something else that I love and am passionate about!

It is through Universal Class which is the same provider I used online when doing the Historical Fiction writing course online as well.

You start out with being shown what your Learning outcomes are, such as:

Defining what a novel is

Describe working philosophy

Summarize novel writing methods

Select a specific class to write about

Select a specific genre to write about

Select a point of view

Summarize manuscript formatting

Create a storyboard

Define the synopsis

Summarize 5 elements involved in fiction writing

Describe building character development

Describe plot/conflict development

Summarize plot requirements

Create the setting, theme, style and tone

Create the climax, identify critical scenes. Recognise cause and effect.

Create proper dialog and illustrative details

Write a conclusion. Edit and revise. Publish the work.

Lets begin with the first lesson!

LESSON 1

Definition of. a novel

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”– Nobel Prize-winning American author Toni Morrison

With origins dating back to poetic prose from thousands of years ago — Elizabethan times, fanciful French romance narratives from the mid-17th century, and episodic, central-figure adventures from the Spanish Don Quixote era — novel writing is an art form that has long been an integral part of our culture.

WHAT IS A NOVEL?

  1. A fictional prose narrative of considerable length, typically having a plot that is unfolded by the actions, speech, and thoughts of the characters
  2. The literary genre represented by novels

In our contemporary world, the use of “novel” has shifted to focus more on the central character, than on the plot. Also playing a defining role in the novel, is the sense of realism. novels are developed as fictional stories the underlying element inherent in all are truisms based upon human behaviour and the ways in which we interact with others.

Novel Features

As a whole, the three primary features of a traditional novel include:

  • A cohesive, believable plot structure
  • Well-defined, credible characters
  • A strong undercurrent of reality

It has been said that a work of fiction is measured by how well, or poorly, the author is able to unify the story and control its impact. Therefore, the only obligation of the writer is to make the story flow well for the reader, and have strong elements of interest.

Classic Examples

  • Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (1811), and Pride and Prejudice (1813); 
  • Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (1847); 
  • Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights (1847); 
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850); 
  • Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851); 
  • Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884);
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925); 
  • Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (1926); 

Can anyone write a novel?

wanting to write a novel, and actually writing it, are entirely different things. In order to produce a novel, you first will need to create a structure around your project, define your objectives, and prioritize this project in your life to ensure you follow it through to completion.

Novel Writing: Rewards and Payoffs

Attracted by the following rewards and personal payoffs, many people do go forth with their plans to write a novel.

  • Satisfaction of achieving a hard-earned goal.
  • Medium to utilize creative skills, which may not otherwise be used in one’s professional life
  • Opportunity to hone one’s writing skills
  • Forum to focus one’s ideas and life experiences
  • Area over which one does not need to conform to anyone’s standards or rules
  • Outlet to showcase one’s theories, ideas and creative visions (albeit masked within a work of fiction)
  • Ego-gratification endeavor, culminating in one’s name appearing on the book jacket of countless copies
  • Lasting legacy

Regardless of what becomes of the finished product — picked up by a publisher, self-published, bestseller, etc. — the fact that you stayed the course in writing your novel is something that will remain with you for your entire lifetime.

Committing to the generation of your novel, and seeing it through to completion, is an endeavor that will leave you with a new-found confidence that will carry over on to any project you put before yourself.

Ideally, the following chapters will help you feel more secure with the novel-writing process and, thus, better able to navigate as you head out on this memorable journey.

I had to upload an assignment

Lesson 1 Assignment

Here is what I did:

My favourite novel that I like to read is called The Governess of Highland Hall and the Author of the novel is called CARRIE TURANSKY

I am a sucker for English Historical Romance novels, and when I read this front to back, I loved it from the characters to the setting to the situations etc. It is a perfect and ideal novel to look at as it is my favourite english historical novel based in England.

This is one of my favourite books because I am a sucker for English Historical novels and out of all the ones I have read, this by far has to be my favourite because of the story, and the writing is so easy to read, yet so eloquent and very English at the same time without it being too verbose. 

It gives you a beautiful feel overall when reading, because of the choice of words, and the way it is written. The author puts words in a very articulate and expressive way through the characters view points and sets a delightful tone throughout the story. 

When the reader is reading this kind of book I believe that they would be experiencing something pleasant as even though there is a section with conflict, the way it is beautifully written, it would give a feeling of delightfulness, which is also captivating, enchanting, joyful and cheerful. 

I also had to submit three paragraphs for my novel and submit an Exam.

LESSON 2

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: Read a lot and write a lot…reading is the creative center of a writer’s life…you cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”– Stephen King

Novel Writing Boot Camp 101

Writing Schedules”Try to write every day; if you don’t, you’ll lose the rhythm of your prose, as well as features of the plot, characters and, most importantly, your ‘voice’, the very timbre of the book that you are trying to maintain.” 
— David Armstrong, author of How Not to Write a Novel: Confessions of a Mid-list Author

Thus, in order to acquire a manner of discipline around your novel writing process, the first thing you will want to do (before mapping out the story lines, or fleshing out your characters), is to assess your project in terms of the total time it will require you to invest.

Once you have gained an idea as to the amount of time your novel will demand of you, you will then be able to determine when — during the course of your busy life — you will realistically be able to sit down, concentrate, and write.

if we were to effectively use the time on our writing that we spend aimlessly wandering the Internet or mindlessly watching television, then we should be able to carve out a sufficient number of writing sessions per week.

Focus/Motivation

After formulating a working writing schedule, you can shift your focus to the best ways for sustaining your motivation and ability to focus solely on your novel.

It is at this point that you may find yourself falling somewhat short in your ability to hold your attention throughout long, intense writing sessions. Fortunately, should you find this to be the case, there are numerous methods you can employ to increase your levels of concentration and motivation.Capturing your ability to focus on one activity for a sustained period of time, is something that can be greatly enhanced by integrating some form of regular meditation into your life. The simple act of learning how to sit still, and focus your mind, offers immeasurable benefits. Not only can it increase the satisfaction you derive on a daily basis, it can also contribute to your writing, in terms of allowing you to hold your thoughts for longer periods, and to explore multiple story scenarios without losing sight of the principle idea.

Helpful Novelist Tips

Chart your progress — Documenting the number of hours worked per day, and specific novel-related tasks accomplished, can be helpful in numbers of ways

Create an incentive for meeting your daily/monthly/overall writing goals — If you need to encourage yourself to stay on course, you may want to build in a series of goal-oriented incentives. 

upon wrapping up the entire novel, do something very, very nice for yourself! Go to the movies, buy yourself a new piece of jewellery, perhaps a pretty journal like I posted in my previous post, 4 Books to read this year in 2020. And buy yourself some flowers if no one else is going to buy them for you!

Good Health

As a whole, it is probably most important that, as you divide your time up among your family, friends, work, and writing, you pay attention to what you are eating, the amount of sleep you are getting, the time you are allocating to physical fitness activities, and the degree to which you are using stimulants, e.g., tobacco and caffeine.

While you are attempting to stay focused and encouraged, it is essential that you take good care of yourself to ensure that your productivity and the quality of your work do not suffer.

Lesson articles featured are:

How to overcome writers block: 14 tricks that work

Lesson 2 Assignment was:

Exercise: To get a realistic sense of the amount of work/time you will need to commit to writing your novel, take a few moments to look at your calendar and block out the day\times you can allocate to the project. You can begin by answering the following questions: 

1.  Realistically, how much time will you be able to commit per week to writing?

2.  Do you have an ideal timeframe for completing your novel?

3.  What types of activities, e.g., exercise, meditation, establishing calming environments can help you get and stay motivated during your blocked out writing sessions? 

I am about to submit this exercise tonight and then tomorrow will work on Lesson 3!

I showed you my example of my first assignment in Lesson 1.

In the comments tell me if you would enjoy doing a course on Novel Writing. Would you do Novel Writing 101?

What is your favourite novel to read?

Can you write Lesson 2’s exercise in the comments below?

Do you like to write during the day or night?

If you could quit your job and write for a living would you do it?

Emmalisa

Published by ExquisiteEmmalisa

I started blogging in late 2015 and it has developed since then. My vision is "To create a platform for ladies to find inspiration and pull thoughts, ideas and advice together whether it’s Beauty, Fashion, Travel or Reading I love to do Book Reviews & anything of SUBSTANCE."

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Monthly Festival : Turn your book into a movie and get it seen by 1000s of people. Or garner FULL FEEDBACK from publishers on your novel and help your next draft. Or get a transcript video of your novel performed by professional actors.

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