Novel Writing Master Class 1

Characterization, Point of View, Description, Setting, & How to Nail Chapter One

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Start writing your novel today!

Do you want to write a novel but you're not sure where to begin? Have you started a novel, only to find yourself feeling lost? Has your story hit a brick wall? Do you feel that you're missing some of the tools you need to write or finish a novel?

Then this class is for you! In this course, you'll learn from a New York Times bestselling author with more than a decade of experience teaching creative writing at the graduate level.

In this course, you'll learn:

-how to write an opening chapter that hooks the reader and establishes the novel's ground rules

-how to create characters who live and breathe on the page

-how to choose the best point of view for your novel

-how to vividly depict the physical world of the story

-how to make every chapter buzz with suspense, no matter the genre


  • 15 video and written lessons
  • weekly assignments
  • ongoing discussion forums

Course Structure: This self-paced course includes five modules. Each module consists of instructional videos, written lectures, an assignment, and discussion forums. When you enroll, you receive immediate access to all five modules. You can access your course at any time, from any device. Students may also submit questions for video response by the instructor.

Goals and Outcomes: You will leave this class with several chapters and a clear understanding of these key elements of narrative craft: characterization, point of view, setting and description, and suspense. You'll write your opening chapter and several additional scenes and chapters.

Who will benefit from this course? This course is suitable for anyone who wants to start a novel. It is perfect for beginners as well as for aspiring novelists who have written short stories, essays, or poetry but are unsure how to write a novel. No prior experience is required.

Novel Writing Master Class 1 is the first course in the Novel Writing Master Class Series.

Watch the video at the top of this page to see how the three courses in the series work together. You can enroll in one course at a time or save more than $200 by purchasing the entire bundle.

If you already have a clear understanding of narrative craft and want to focus solely on plot, you can enroll in Novel Writing Master Class 3: PLOTTING THE NOVEL.

If you prefer to work with deadlines and engage in weekly discussions with other participants, you'll enjoy Novel in Nine.

If you have any questions about how the classes work or which one is right for you, please send an email to [email protected] and I'll get back to you right away!

Course Curriculum

  Introduction and Resources
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  Recommended Software and Organizational Methods
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  Wrapping Up
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  Novel Writing Master Class 1 - Course Downloads
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How much time have you spent wanting to write a novel? How much time have you spent wishing your manuscript would come together? How often have you felt that you've written yourself into a corner, or that you have a great idea but you just can't quite figure out the best way to tell it?

When I completed my MFA program in the late nineties, I had a few published stories but no idea how to write a novel. I had learned craft at the micro level, as so many MFA students do, analyzing short stories line by line. What I hadn't learned was how to construct a novel, how to tell a long story that would draw readers in and keep them turning pages.

I designed this course based on my experiences writing and publishing five novels,as well as teaching for many years in Masters of Fine Arts programs in Creative Writing. I've written a novel that quietly fizzled, selling fewer than 10,000 copies, and I've written a novel that sold more than half a million copies. The ups and downs of my publishing career, combined with my years of teaching, have allowed me to see writing from many angles, and have given me the opportunity to think about what makes for a successful novel--both critically and in terms of readership. Over the years, through thousands of hours of trial and error, I have learned how to craft a plot that attracts publishers and engages readers. In this course, I share those techniques with you.

Join us, and commit to writing your novel.

Your Instructor

Michelle Richmond
Michelle Richmond

Michelle Richmond is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels and two award-winning story collections. Her books have been published in 30 languages. She has taught in the Masters of Fine Arts programs in creative writing at the University of San Francisco and California College of the Arts and has served as Distinguished Visiting Writer at St. Mary's College of Moraga, Bowling Green State University, and Notre Dame de Namur University. She has also designed and taught novel writing courses online for Stanford Continuing Studies. She is the founder and publisher of Fiction Attic Press.

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