Online Class: Novel Writing 101

By committing to the steps outlined within this course, aspiring (and even experienced) novelists can find the structure they need to create a well-crafted manuscript, one they will be proud to shop to potential agents and publishers.

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  • 26
  • 52
    Exams &
  • 5,829
    have taken this course
  • 22
    average time
  • 2.2

Course Description

Mastering the Art of Novel Writing: A Comprehensive Guide

Crafting a novel is an art that intertwines creativity, discipline, and dedication. While the journey of novel-writing can be intricate, it is by no means unattainable, especially when armed with the right tools and guidance.

This course, "Mastering the Art of Novel Writing," offers both budding and seasoned writers a structured path to breathe life into their stories. We delve deep into the nuances of crafting a compelling narrative, providing you with a toolkit to develop engaging characters, build gripping plots, and lace your narrative with your unique style.

Why This Course?

For many, the idea of a structural approach to writing may seem restrictive. However, a well-constructed framework can act as a compass, guiding writers through the vast ocean of their imagination without getting lost. By adhering to tried-and-true methodologies, writers can channel their energy on ideation, weaving intricate plot twists, and creating memorable characters.

Our course encompasses all elements vital to novel creation, referred to as 'dramatic construction'. From the seed of an idea to the final full stop, we support you in your journey, ensuring that your story stands tall on these foundational pillars.

Furthermore, with the ever-evolving publishing landscape, simply penning a great story isn't enough. We extend our guidance beyond writing, offering insights into navigating the complex world of publishing, ensuring your masterpiece finds its rightful place on bookshelves.

A Glimpse into the Course Modules:

  1. Definition of a Novel: Understanding the essence of a novel and how it differentiates from other forms of literature.

  2. Work Philosophy: Adopting the right mindset and work ethic for sustained writing.

  3. Novel Writing Methods: Exploring varied approaches to novel writing to find what suits you best.

  4. Selecting a Specific Class & Genre: Recognizing where your story fits in the literary world and tailoring it to a target audience.

  5. Point of View (POV): Delving into narrative styles and discerning which lends best to your story.

  6. Manuscript Formatting: Preparing your manuscript professionally for submissions.

  7. Storyboarding to Synopsis Formation: Structuring your novel, mapping out key events, and preparing a gripping synopsis.

  8. Five Elements of Fiction Writing: Unraveling the elements that make fiction resonate with readers.

  9. Character to Plot Development: Crafting memorable characters and placing them in riveting scenarios.

  10. Setting, Theme, Style, & Tone: Building the world of your novel and defining its mood.

  11. Climax, Critical Scenes & Cause and Effect: Driving your story towards pivotal moments and understanding their ripple effects.

  12. Dialogue & Exposition: Mastering the art of authentic dialogue and balanced exposition.

  13. Polishing of Prose: Refining your narrative for a smooth reading experience.

  14. Checklist of Questions: A reflective module ensuring all boxes are ticked before proceeding.

  15. Publish or Perish - Getting Ready to Submit: Preparing your work and yourself for the world of publishing.

... and more!

Each lesson is meticulously crafted, complete with assignments, resources, and evaluations to ensure not just theoretical knowledge but practical application.

In Conclusion

Novel writing can be a challenging endeavor, but with commitment, passion, and the right guidance, the path becomes clearer and the journey enjoyable. If you're ready to commit to your literary aspirations, to mold your ideas into coherent, compelling narratives, then this course is your compass, guiding light, and mentor.

Join us on this transformative journey, and let's together bring your novel to life.

Course Motivation

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.4 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(5,307 votes)

Lesson 1: Definition of a Novel

This lesson describes the history of the novel, and the rewards and satisfaction of novel writing. Additional lesson topics: Word Count: How Long Should Your Novel Be? 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: Your Novel
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: Work Philosophy

This lesson explains the Dos and Don'ts about writing schedules and motivation. Additional lesson topics: How to Deal with Writer's Block 15 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: Novel Writing Methods

This lesson explains the different forms, methods, and development for writing novels. 19 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: Selecting a Specific Class

This lesson discusses short stories and novella writing. Additional lesson topics: 10 Greatest American Short Story Writers 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: Selecting a Specific Genre

When considering the type of genre you ultimately want to write, it is most important that you objectively assess your strengths as a writer, the time you will be able to commit to the project, and the level of interest you have for specific subjects. 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Lesson 5 Poll: Choosing a Genre
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Selecting a Point of View (POV)

This lesson explains the four points of view an author can use. Additional lesson topics: Establishing the Right Point of View 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Lesson 6 Poll: Choosing a Point of View
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Manuscript Formatting

In order for your work to be viewed as professional, and worthy of acquisition by a potential publisher, your manuscript will also need to be produced in the acceptable official form. Additional lesson topics: Manuscript Style Guidelines 10 Total Points
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: Storyboarding

This lesson defines what a storyboard is, and how to make and use one in the novel-writing process. Additional lesson topics: Storyboarding; Storyboarding Software 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: Synopsis Formation

This lesson explains what a synopsis is, and how to write one. 19 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Lesson 9 Poll: Writing a Synopsis
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: Five Elements Involved in Fiction Writing

This lesson describes the five elements that are crucial to writing a novel. Additional lesson topics: Stephen King's Tips 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11: Building Character Development

This lesson explains the phases to go through as you develop your characters. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12: Plot/Conflict Development

This lesson explains how to establish a plot and conflicts. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 Exam

Lesson 13: More on Plot

This lesson discusses the different types of plot structures. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 13 Exam

Lesson 14: Setting and Theme

This lesson explores the different types of settings and themes, and the importance of ensuring that continuity carries throughout the novel. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 14 Exam

Lesson 15: Style and Tone

In this lesson we discuss the style and tone of a novel and the difference between tone and mood. Additional lesson topics: Style and Tone 29 Total Points
  • Lesson 15 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 15 Exam

Lesson 16: Climax Building

This lesson describes how to build tension that leads to a climax. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 16 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 16 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 16 Exam

Lesson 17: Critical Scenes

This lesson defines critical scenes, and their placement within the novel. Additional lesson topics: Starting Your Research 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 17 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 17 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 17 Exam

Lesson 18: Cause & Effect

This lesson describes the cause-and-effect actions that are critical to a novel's plot. 29 Total Points
  • Lesson 18 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 18 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 18 Exam

Lesson 19: Dialogue

This lesson discusses the importance of dialogue, and how to make it realistic. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 19 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 19 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 19 Exam

Lesson 20: Illustrative Details/Exposition

This lesson discusses imagery, style, allusions, and symbolism in writing. Additional lesson topics: Modes of Writing 28 Total Points
  • Lesson 20 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 20 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 20 Exam

Lesson 21: Inclusion and Exclusion

This lesson explains the dos and dont's of adding too much clutter to your writing. Additional lesson topics: Thoughts on Writing 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 21 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 21 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 21 Exam

Lesson 22: Writing a Conclusion

This lesson explains the different ways to bring closure to your novel. Additional lesson topics: Conclusions; How to Write The Ending Of Your Novel 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 22 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Lesson 22 Poll: Satisfying Outcomes
  • Complete: Lesson 22 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 22 Exam

Lesson 23: Polishing of Prose

This lesson explains how to proofread your writing. Additional lesson topics: Proofreading Tips; Writing Dates and Times; Purple Prose 40 Total Points
  • Lesson 23 Video
  • Complete: Assignment 23A
  • Complete: Lesson 23 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 23 Exam

Lesson 24: Checklist of Questions

This lesson discusses how to remove clutter, and refine your manuscript. Additional lesson topics: Check List for Fiction Writers 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 24 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 24 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 24 Exam

Lesson 25: Publish or Perish: Getting Ready to Submit

This lesson discusses the different ways to submit your work for publishing. Additional lesson topics: Random House: What I Look For in a Rough Draft 28 Total Points
  • Lesson 25 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Lesson 25 Poll: Query Letter
  • Complete: Lesson 25 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 25 Exam

Lesson 26: Writing a Novel: Final Take Aways

Inspirational quotes by some well-known authors, why they write, and why people read novels. Additional lesson topics: Recompose Magazine Submissions 45 Total Points
  • Lesson 26 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Lesson 26 Poll: Favorite Quotes; Course Completion Comments; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Complete: Final Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 26 Assignment
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what a novel is.
  • Describe working philosophy.
  • Summarize novel writing methods.
  • Select a specific class to write about.
  • Select a specific genre to write about.
  • Select a Point of View (POV).
  • Summarize manuscript formatting.
  • Create a storyboard.
  • Define the synopsis.
  • Summarize five elements involved in fiction writing.
  • Describe building character development.
  • Describe plot/conflict development.
  • Summarize plot requirements.
  • Create the setting, theme, style and tone.
  • Create climax. Identify critical scenes. Recognize cause and effect.
  • Create proper dialog and illustrative details.
  • Write a conclusion. Edit and revise. Publish the work.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Novel Writing 101
Course Number: 9770547
Lessons Rating: 4.4 / 5 Stars (5,307 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas.
Last Updated: October 2023
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 2.2 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Dana Kristan
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "Great course, challenging quizzes and assignments. The instructor is helpful and provides the right amount of guidance." -- Nicholas Y.
  • "The course helped fill in gaps in my knowledge about novels and novel-writing. I feel enabled to start drafting my first novel after completing this course." -- Lisa G.
  • "I appreciated the positive feedback from the instructor very much." -- Ronald C.
  • "The instructor was very pleasant individual and helpful as well!" -- Laura A.
  • "Two thumbs up!" -- Ralph C.
  • "Thoroughly enjoyed it." -- Hazel G.
  • "I loved this course! Thank you for offering it!" -- Laura G.
  • "Instructor was quite good." -- Rick H.
  • "The instructor must have been very open-minded to accept different avenues of the imagination and also to accept the "real slice of life" as she put it." -- Mary M.