A Powerful Story
Whether it’s your first novel and it needs to pack a punch, your second novel or your sixth, here’s how to write your best story ever.
This is the course for writers who won’t leave their story to chance.
Cut through doubt and establish a high-stakes story that allows you to achieve your ambitions, whether that’s commercial sales figures, awards listings, or creative fulfilment. You’ll gain absolute control of your story from the first moment you outline your structure and plot.
Establish a strong theme that allows you to test the merit of every element of your story: from setting to casting, the secondary characters and the purpose of the sub-plot, you’ll develop the advanced writing skills and techniques to bring places and people to life in deft, well-judged strokes. Choose the most effective treatment and perspective to tell your story, and drive a singular vision through your novel. Chapter by chapter, line by line, our more advanced writing course will enable you to give your most polished performance on the page ever. Make sure to pack the Advanced Writing Course for your next adventure in fiction.
The course at a glance
Plan your pitch
Nail your pitch and plan the perfect plot with this course created by a Booker Prize-listed author.
Add one-to-one coaching with a published author who shares your fiction genre writing specialisation to stay on track and meet your deadline.
Weekly online writing classes
Join the world’s favourite writing group for novelists with author and agent guest events and weekly online writing classes.
World-leading literary agencies
Career advice for members from the writing school linked to the world’s leading literary agencies.
The Advanced Writing Course
To write your best book yet.
Prepare to write your best book yet with 30 novel writing lessons and put your new storytelling expertise into practice with our cutting-edge course. The course takes an insiders’ look under the bonnet of Pulitzer and Booker Prize-winning novels like The Secret History by Donna Tartt, The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, Less by Andrew Sean Greer, Mrs Palfrey at The Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor, Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason, My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, Normal People by Sally Rooney, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore, The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and many, many more to discover how the most famous contemporary novels work.
1. The Vital Organs
A story often begins with the main character poised on the brink of a life-changing crisis. For the first of our course topics, we’ll explain why ensuring they are not like you allows you to use aspects of your experience more freely. Know the Big Question the reader is reading to find out. Create a credible setting with just five core components to establish a sense of place. Formulate your theme with a positive and negative pole to organise your story. We’ll consider the narrative perspective: who’s left standing? What axe does your narrator have to grind? From what time and place are they telling this story and why? We’ll prepare a story structure, reading and analysing exemplary works by Patrick Rothfuss, Liane Moriarty, Daphne du Maurier, Oyinkan Braithwaite, Meg Rosoff, Mark Haddon and more.
2. The Working Plan
In the second part of the course, we’ll outline an exciting plot and begin casting to ensure you’re writing a story packing action and drama. The character arc for your hero is driven by conflict. What the main character wants is not what they need! We’ll share our Advance/Block and Peek-a-Boo writing techniques to help you construct a plot helpfully and simply articulated by the midpoint. Discover our Four Personality Types for casting the principal players. Consider the best treatment for your story, discover why the first person tends to lend itself to stories about exceptional people and the third person tends to deal with exceptional situations. Write The Plan for your novel with all the key prime movers on one page, and go from stage to page trialling the choices you have made to serve your ideas and your story.
3. The Depth Chargers
We’ll take absolute control of the material to flesh out and pace the plot, adding the second character and sub-plot or B Story. With in-depth character development, we’ll start learning more about the true nature of your main character by pushing them to extremes. Until now, they’ve been engaged in a charade. Once they’re in big trouble, we’re going to find out who they are and what they need. We’ll focus on a plot (and players) stacked against them in the first half of your novel. We’ll widen our casting to include minor players to serve the theme of your story – unreliably yet credibly – and we’ll show you how, ironically, it’s their monomaniacal thinking that gives them dimension on the page. Let’s find the agent provocateur, the second character, who will expose your hero. We’ll look at how the character flaw or wound hinders the hero’s progress and get them to come clean in the second half of your novel.
4. Magic and Mastery
Ever wished you could have an outline for a brilliant chapter, blow-by-blow? Discover the preferred chaptering formats of authors from Agatha Christie to Sally Rooney with The Bullet-proof Chapter, a technique that helps prepare each and every chapter for smooth writing. Dive into writing your story with economy and style. Raise your game and save yourself an edit with lessons and assignments to help you keep your writing lively, bold and on point. Discover some advanced craft magic tricks and skills from great authors. These unique insights and sleights of hand will have readers glued to your pages.
Enjoy access to resources, advice on marketing, social media, publishing communication skills and other essentials for your career as a published author.
5. The Course Author
Louise Dean has won the Society of Authors Betty Trask Prize, was winner of Le Prince Maurice, a finalist for the Guardian First Book Award and the Costa Coffee Books Short Story Award, and was longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Prize and The Booker Prize. Her last novel was an Oprah Book of the Week and she has been praised as a writer by the Wall Street Journal and many other publications, and by the Nobel Laureate for Literature J.M. Coetzee.
You’ll enjoy bonus instructional videos from your course companion, bestselling author Kate Riordan as she takes the course to write her next novel.
If you select The Advanced Course Plan, you’ll be writing with the author of your choice and you can arrange one-to-one writing coaching sessions by Zoom that fit with your own schedule, available in all time zones, to help you stay on track as you write your novel.
Find out more about our writing coaches here.
The Novelry is home to novelists worldwide and you’ll have regular access to exciting online events with publishing professionals, literary agents and authors, and join live writing classes and workshops with our writing coaches. As a member, you’ll enjoy the support of our thriving online community, interaction with fellow authors and professional and peer feedback from the team and from writers like you. Join us as a member to qualify for feedback on your writing with paid sessions with a professional publishing editor for their own opinion and insight. Unlike other advanced writing courses, we go beyond academic writing to connect students to leading literary agencies worldwide to help you get published. In our weekly classes for members, we can bring you up-to-date advice and pointers to ensure you’re on the right track for the current publishing market.
We offer a dedicated private VIP group for those on The Advanced Writing Course.
Sign up and start writing your best book today.
Simply choose the level of support and guidance you’d like to accompany your course. All courses, coaching and access to our community of other writers are yours for 12 months.
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Where the writers are.
Happy writing at The Novelry.
“The Novelry's Advanced Course came along at exactly the right moment for me, when I was battling with low self-confidence and a first draft I didn't know what to do with. It's helped me regain perspective, focussed me and given me back my belief in my ability to write. I feel ready and able to tackle my next draft now, will all the new tools I've acquired in my belt, and I know I'll be going back over some of the sessions to reinforce them, as there was such a lot packed into the four weeks.”
—Laura Pearson, author
“I thoroughly enjoyed having a process to follow so that it didn’t feel like I was doing it alone. 70k words in 4 months and it felt really easy getting the complete story told.”
—Kate Gunn, author
“Invaluable. A big eye-opener. I’ve done many writing courses, many of which rely heavily on the workshopping method. The Novelry offers far more. I’m the author of over 170 books. The Novelry picked me up when I was floundering, gave me direction, gave me a safe place, and gave me permission to find my own magic.”
—Candice F. Ransom, author
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