Online: Year of the Novel – Phase One

Emily Maguire

1 February to 1 April 2021, online

Full Price: $970
Member: $730
Conc Member: $630

This course is SOLD OUTjoin the waitlist to be notified if spaces become available.

Make 2021 the year you finally write that book in this online course from acclaimed author Emily Maguire. Over three phases of eight weeks each, you’ll receive the tools, support and encouragement you need to plan, write and edit your novel.

Please note that while the three phases are designed to build on each other, each may also be taken as a stand-alone unit. Phase Two and Three will open separately for enrolments later in the year. If you would like to enrol in the full course, go here.

Is this course right for you? Read our FAQ before enrolling>> 

The course takes place on a user-friendly website designed specifically for writing courses, in combination with Zoom sessions. The Zoom sessions will take place on select Tuesday evenings from 6:30pm AET. Zoom sessions are optional but encouraged.

Phase One: Writing the bones

This phase is all about getting the bare bones of your novel down on paper (or screen). We’ll talk about generating ideas and planning, and look at the basic elements of fiction – point of view, narration, character, plot, dialogue and setting.

1. Introduction and planning

Setting goals, creating structure, identifying obstacles and figuring out ways to get past them.

2. Inspiration

Generating ideas, re-invigorating memories, stealing from life, stealing from history and making the old and tired, vigorous and new.

3. Story and plot

The difference between story and plot, and how you can make one into the other.         

4. Character

In this session we’ll discuss what makes a character complex and compelling and what you can do to make you character as alive on the page as they are in your head.

5. Point of View

We’ll talk about the advantages and disadvantages of first, second and third POV, and which works best in what circumstances.

6. Showing and telling

Beginner writers are often told to ‘show, not tell’, but it’s not as simple as that. This week we’ll talk about the difference between showing and telling, and how to get the balance right.

7. Dialogue

We’ll discuss how brilliantly written dialogue can make your characters more believable, your plot more suspenseful and the world of your novel more vibrant.

8. Setting

Using the details of time and place to create atmosphere and solidify your invented world.

Each week during the course, a new lesson will be posted online. Participants will have the week to work through the content and post responses to exercises designed to put the theory we’re learning into practice. Participants will engage in giving and receiving peer feedback on writing exercises and receive some limited tutor feedback.

As you work through the lessons online, you’ll also be working offline to write your novel. To this end, you’ll be encouraged to set specific, achievable writing goals each week and have the opportunity to share your successes, discuss your challenges and help others with theirs, in our class forum.

There will be three optional Zoom sessions where participants can ask the tutor questions. There will also be a special Zoom event in which participants will hear from a guest speaker about their writing life. These online events will take place on the following Tuesday evenings, exact times TBA:

  • 9 February: tutor Q&A
  • 2 March: tutor Q&A
  • 16 March: guest speaker
  • 30 March: tutor Q&A
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This course has already taken place.