Our Writing Classes.Aug 29, 2020
The immersive programme of events for this writing season at The Novelry includes live sessions with former Publishing Editor of Penguin's Doubleday imprint Marianne Velmans and guest tutors, bestselling authors, Louise Doughty, Harriet Tyce, Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Jessie Burton.
When you join us, you'll have 7 relaxed and inspiring days of lessons in the Ninety Day Novel course to consider and hone your idea, before your first tutor session.
At that first session, we sign off on together on the best idea to achieve your goal, and you start writing. You could be holding your novel manuscript in your hands on the 1st December. Sign up now and experience the joy of completing the first draft of your novel this year.
This autumn the focus is very much on PLOT. Our guest tutors have been chosen for their crafty expertise and plot wiles.
Our writers can sign up at our class booking page here.
The Louise Doughty Boot Camps. September, October, November.
Writing for Children and Getting Published With Graduate of The Novelry, Susie Bower.
A Live Q&A With Former Publishing Editor of Penguin Doubleday, Marianne Velmans.
Writing a Bestselling Suspense Thriller With Harriet Tyce Monday 21 September.
A Q&A With International Bestseller Thriller Writer Ruth Ware 19th October.
A Q&A With Global Bestselling Author of The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins 16th November.
A Live Session with Sunday Times Bestselling Author of Historical Fiction Jessie Burton 14 December.
And our regular sessions for all members every two weeks:
The Story Clinic. (Tues 1st Sept at 3pm UK time, Tues 15th Sept, Tues 29th Sept and so on) with our tutors on rotation to troubleshoot our writers story problems.
The Sunday Evening Team Chat. Every other Sunday (August 30th, Sept 13th, Sept 27th and so on.)
And don't forget you regular one-to-one session with your tutor!
Book in advance for sessions by Zoom at our booking page here.
Wishing you all happy writing this autumn.
Lost the Plot?
If you have been and are still creating material at first draft stage of your novel, carry on regardless. Get it down, and continue with your steady writing regime, and well done!
If you have had to take time away from the novel, you should use this opportunity to look at your novel from a distance and be a little rude and rough on it. Take a helicopter view and look at the market and marry what the market is loving to your intentions for your novel. (You might as well get readers, right?)
This is where we begin work with all of our writers - what are your intentions and ambitions, how do we best align this to publishing success?
You are the author. You remain in the driving seat, either agreeing or rejecting the suggestions of others because fiction, like fortune, favours the brave and your novel is the only place in your life you get to exercise your own authority. But we will always give you our best advice for you to find a way to make a life writing books.
Many writers come to us with a novel that needs a major reboot. Many come with nothing, not even an idea. Either way, these things ought to be top of your list. (If your novel hasn't found an agent yet, the problem may be here.)
- Go first person or very close third for perspective or point of view. Omniscient perspective is a passion-killer in 2020, it's old school. This fashion will pass, and one day we'll all be writing like Tolstoy again, but for now, if you want to get published be up close and personal with the reader.
- Voice. It's so very much about voice these days. Look at the big hits of this century - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz - is often ranked as the novel of the 21st Century. These novels draw on the heritage of The Catcher in the Rye. Sorry, but you have to locate it and channel it. It could take a while, even a few drafts to hear it. Ideally, you know it. It needs to be close to home. Don't fight or write with one hand tied behind your back. Use all your strengths and gifts. Bring it closer to home.
- The Big Question. What are we reading to find out? It's okay to change this as you work over numerous drafts, but when you're moving to final drafts of your novel, make sure we know this on the first pages.
- The Stakes. Are they high enough at the outset for us to care? Life and death, my friends, life and death.
- Cause and Effect. Not every writer is much good at this logic flow. This happens, so that happens. See this blog on What is Story? for a guide. And it's okay to have fluffed it in early drafts entirely when creating material with whimsy. But use the re-boot of September to be brutal. I will be working with my writers to nail this as a priority in September at our monthly boot camp with the wonderful Louise Doughty and will be providing all of you writing with us, with a worksheet. It should be easy, but it's not. All of my writers can write, I don't doubt you reading this can write, but very few of us can nail the this-then-that of storytelling which seems such basic mathematics. I am weak with this personally, therefore I love the lifetime, ongoing learning we share at The Novelry which keeps me on track.
And a bonus tip: Conflict and Theme. A writer who is acquainted with the wonderful Tayari Jones who wrote An American Marriage (read it!) told me that one of Tayari's great skills is the way she deliberates over the selection of the conflict in her work, taking time to find it. Then she writes cool and clean. (Because you can, once you know it.) What's the conflict in yours? Why is it timely or important? How does it speak to the theme of your work?
The tutors of The Novelry invite all of our writers to come to our virtual desks in September for a re-boot session and to talk through, plot point by plot point, the story, story, story.
See you in class.
Now's The Time.
When you sign up to write your novel with us, we're here to take on some of the heavy-lifting of writing your novel. We keep on track with your novel during your writing with our amazing system which tracks your progress and storyline alongside you as you go. Not only that we keep tabs on how you're feeling. So when you sag or lag we can intervene to give you a morale boost.
The course is structured to build your confidence and word count daily with regular interventions with your tutor. Our method is to encourage and support even the faintest glimmer of an idea, to see what's great in it, to help you honour your ever-so-slightly mysterious intentions at outset and achieve your ambition. We urge you not to share your precious but quite naturally flawed work at first draft with anyone but your tutor, who believes 100% in you and your idea. Once we have a draft in the bag, it's all systems go at The Novelry to lift it to publishing standard. We need that draft in the bag. Once we've got it, we can start making it into a piece of art fit for publication. Your confidence and joy is top of our To Do list, and that's what makes The Novelry a very special place, a haven for many wonderful writers.
We live and breathe the magic of the white page and the craft of making marks on it, conjuring a spell that transports writer and reader to another time and place where anything could happen...