Online: Year of the Novel: Phase Two

Emily Maguire

8 x Tuesdays: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 June 2020; 7, 14, 21 July, 6:30-9:30pm

Full Price: $970

Member: $680

Conc Member: $580

Update: due to the current situation with Covid-19, this course will run online. Please read our FAQ before enrolling. 

We will open for enrolments into Phase Three of Year of the Novel in July.

In this eight-week writing workshop acclaimed author Emily Maguire will give you the tools, support and encouragement you need to plan, edit and write your novel.

In the course’s second phase we’ll put some flesh on the bones of your novel, looking at structure, style and theme, and going deeper still with character, voice and plot. As we approach the year’s half-way mark we’ll also talk about how to stay focused and motivated to see this thing through to the end.

Throughout, Emily will use examples from classic and contemporary fiction and from students’ work-in-progress to explore the topics covered, and guest speakers will share their insights to further expand your understanding of how published writers do what they do.

You should come to the first class with a specific work-in-progress or idea for a novel. Sharing and discussion will be encouraged, and there will be ample opportunity for you to speak to the group about how various techniques and lessons may be applicable to your specific project, however, one-on-one detailed feedback from the tutor will be limited.

(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: Muscles, guts, flesh and blood

Phase two is all about putting flesh on the bones of your novel, giving your story depth and force and vigour by looking at structure, style and theme, and going deeper with character, voice and plot. As we approach the year’s half-way mark we’ll also talk about how to stay focussed and motivated to see this thing through to the end.

1.Workshopping what needs to be done

Whether you’re back from the break after Phase One, or starting with us for the first time, this is a week to take stock of your work in progress.

2. Structure

Structure is what turns a collection of scenes into a satisfying novel. We’ll talk about scenes and story arcs, and look at some common structural templates.

 3. Character: going deeper   

Avoiding stereotypes, identifying archetypes, writing across gender and cultural lines and making full use of minor and supporting characters.

 4. Advanced plotting: the relationship between character and plot

Is your character mostly pulled through events by twists of fate or is your plot driven by choices your character makes? We’ll look at how integrating character and plot development makes both elements stronger.

 5. Suspense, story questions and narrative drive   

This is where we ask ourselves: how am I going to keep the reader turning pages? We’ll look at backstory, time-jumps, transitions and pacing.

 6. Voice, tone and style

What is voice and how do you find, or develop, yours? What’s the relationship between voice and tone? We’ll talk about metaphor, imagery and finding the exact right word every time.

7Point of view: going deeper

Who’s telling this story? What do they know and how do they know it? How does ‘head-hopping’ differ from omniscient POV? And why does any of this matter? Can’t we just tell the story how it comes out? Answers to all of these questions and more as we dive deep into the wonders of POV.

8. Forging on                   

We’ve been working on our novels for over half the year by now. It’s time to talk about smashing writer’s block, pushing through frustration and dealing with doubt.

Participant Requirements

Due to the COVID-19 situation, this course will run online. Internet access and confidence using basic computer software are essential for this course.


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