Find your authentic voice and a sustainable story with
Do you know what your novel is really about? What makes your story uniaue and your voice completely your own? This course will help you pin down your vision, shape it into a story, and set up a structure and momentum you can sustain till ‘the end’. Over eight weeks you’ll learn fast and effectively in a structured small-group experience based on learning science. Prepare for a deep dive.
By the end of this course, you’ll have your opening chapter written or reworked, an industry-standard synopsis, confidence in your ideas and a firm plan to guide you from start to finish, whether this is a new novel idea, a rewrite or restart.
This course is delivered with our education partner, Professional Writing Academy, and uses the same platform as our Ultimate Novel Writing Course.
This course at a glance:
An Eight-Week Course
Be guided, inspired and challenged
Flexible Online Learning
New sessions released weekly
A Writing Community
Tackle your writing problems together
Jumpstart Your Novel Course Syllabus
Session 1: Beginnings
You as a novel writer – why do you want to write this novel, and why is now the right time? Establishing your intent, your mission as a novel writer and committing to the expedition. Finding the right idea – taking inspiration from the world around you, or asking your inner writer to give you a good idea. Share a summary of your novel idea for workshopping. There’s a group Zoom meeting with your tutor.
Session 2: Character & Plot
Who is going to inhabit this story? And what needs to happen to that character? Exercises to help you flesh out your central character and ask them what they long for and want to achieve. You’ll explore the most effective way to introduce your protagonist to your reader for the first time, and workshop your character choices. Use our Ask Me Anything tutor forum any time during the session.
Session 3: Setting & Atmosphere
Bringing real or imagined settings to life in your novel, with practical sensory description techniques. What makes this different from writing a non-fiction description? How to get inside your narrator character so readers have a sense of seeing everything – action, landscapes, interiors, other characters – filtered through the very specific lens of this fictional person. There’s a group Zoom with your tutor.
Session 4: Point of View
The art of listening for the difference in how people express themselves, and how to ‘hear’ the voice of a character in your head when you are writing. What suits you best as a point of view choice – experiment with what comes naturally and other options. Who is most affected by the events of your story? Use our Ask Me Anything tutor forum any time during the session.
Session 5: Shaping a Story
How character and plot are intertwined. Build a short scene to introduce your character’s ordinary world, learning how to bury clues and get your readers begging for change. Structural systems to try out, with tricks of the trade including a map in three acts. The dance between plotting and trusting the muse, allowing some space for magic and the unexpected. There’s a group Zoom with your tutor.
Session 6: Write Your Synopsis
How to tell your story in three simple sentences and build it up into a synopsis, a stand-alone version of the story that will help you write a first draft and has the potential to be the blurb readers read on the back-cover. The seven elements of a synopsis and how to enjoy its creative process. You’ll clarify your idea, focus on the scope and shape of the story, and learn secrets about your characters, voice and potential as a novelist. Join a guest author for a Q&A Zoom session.
Session 7: Novel Openings
We’re finally there: you have two weeks to immerse yourself in the fictional world you’re creating and write or rework the opening of your novel. We’ll look at setting your narrator’s mood as the novel opens, finding an overarching ‘voice’ that will feel comfortable over the length of a novel, and techniques to draw readers instantly into your fictional world. With your tutor you’ll also think about what next, and how to keep up momentum and self-belief as a novel writer. There’s a one-to-one Zoom tutorial with your tutor.
Your Tutor: Kylie Fitzpatrick
Kylie Fitzpatrick is the author of four novels, published in eleven languages.
She has Masters and Doctoral degrees in Creative Writing and, until 2019, was a tutor and lecturer on the world-leading Creative Writing Degree and MA courses at Bath Spa University.
Kylie is a commissioning editor at Archetype Books and a literary consultant for Writer’s & Artist’s at Bloomsbury Publishing and Cornerstones.
She has worked in script development for the BBC, Australian Broadcasting Commission and Beyond Productions and has lived and worked in the US, Australia, Europe and the UK.
Why choose this course?
Flexible learning Study when suits you in a fully tutored course with deadlines to keep you motivated. With lifetime access to the course materials, you can come back for reminder lessons whenever needed
Personalised tutor feedback You’ll receive heaps of helpful feedback from your tutor through written feedback on your final assignment and a 121 video call. Plus, your tutor will be on hand to answer your questions via fortnightly live webchats and our dedicated ‘ask me anything’ forum
Weekly peer-to-peer feedback Alongside tutor feedback, you’ll get regular input from your peers and learn how to read like an editor to provide helpful editorial advice in return
Community of writers Make lifelong writing friends who will be with you every step of the way as you write your novel
End the course with an effective synopsis and opening chapter Work on the hardest part of your novel with us and leave knowing you have built a solid foundation you can use to construct your novel
Learn from the experts Alongside your main course tutor, you’ll receive wisdom from top author and Ultimate Novel Writing tutor, Natasha Bell in a guest lecture
Gain publishing industry knowledge Our tutors are all working writers which means you’ll get insight to the ins and outs of the publishing world as you learn
Small class sizes With no more than 15 people per course, you’re guaranteed to receive personalised attention from your tutors and classmates
Enjoy state-of-the-art learning technology Our virtual learning environment delivers content in the most accessible and enjoyable way possible, as used by our Ultimate Novel Writing Course students
Who is this course for?
This course is suitable for both beginners and those with some writing experience. As long as you have an idea of what you want to write, you’ll benefit from taking part.
The course is suitable if the following sounds like you:
- You have an idea of the novel you want to write – it doesn’t have to be fully formed. Perhaps you have a topic you’d like to explore or an idea of a setting, that’s plenty to work with
- You’d like to explore where your writing can go in the form of a novel
- You want to get your novel off the ground or stress-test your idea
- You’re writing a novel but feel blocked with it
- You want to develop effective novel-writing habits
- You like the discripline of feedback and deadlines
- You want to be amongst a small group of dedicated and friendly writers in a workshop environment
- You’re able to dedicate 5-7 hours per week for the duration of the course
What will this course teach me?
Over the course you will learn:
- How to choose great novel ideas and how to realise them
- How to write an effective synopsis and opening chapter
- The fundamentals of novel writing including character development, point of view, story, and structure
- What skills professional writers need including discipline, attention to detail, and writing to deadlines
- How to become an effective critique partner for your fellow course-mates
- How to receive and act upon constructive feedback
Is this a Jericho Writers’ course?
We’re delivering this course in partnership with Professional Writing Academy. You can find out more about them here. Within 7 working days after paying for the course, you will receive a confirmation email welcoming you to the course, along with the prospectus. Then on the Friday before the course starts we will send you a login so you can enrol on the platform and find some getting started information and an icebreaker exercise to complete before Session 1 opens on the Monday morning.