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.

Self-Paced, Online Class
Fulton County Library System
  • 26
  • 52
    Exams &
  • 22
    average time
  • 2.2
    Video Audit

Course Description

From character and plot-conflict development to infusing a unique style and specialized writing techniques, the steps to writing a novel--while not utterly impossible--do require a dedicated, disciplined approach.
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.
While some creative types may balk at the idea of adhering to a framework, the truth is that following such guidelines actually frees up writers to focus on the genesis and flow of ideas as opposed to be bogged down by the myriad of format and publishing style particulars.
That is why we have provided you with insights into how, from start to finish, you can develop the varying elements of your novel: characters, plotlines, setting, tone, conflict, climax, and resolution/denouement. Labeled as dramatic construction, every novel ought to have a foundation in these basic principles.
Plus, we will help take you one step further by offering you the specifics as to what is required to submit your completed work to potential agents and publishers. With an end goal in mind, this will help inspire you to actually finish your novel. Once outfitted with both practical and creative writers' tools, there is no reason you can not successfully write a novel and get it published.

If indeed you are truly committed and willing to invest the necessary time and effort to put your literary skills to the test, there should be nothing, absolutely nothing, stopping you from producing memorable prose.

Course Motivation


Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.4 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(5,205 votes)
  • Lesson 1: Definition of a Novel

    This lesson describes the history of the novel, and the rewards and satisfaction of novel writing.
  • Lesson 2: Work Philosophy

    This lesson explains the Dos and Don'ts about writing schedules and motivation.
  • Lesson 3: Novel Writing Methods

    This lesson explains the different forms, methods, and development for writing novels.
  • Lesson 4: Selecting a Specific Class

    This lesson discusses short stories and novella writing.
  • 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.
  • Lesson 6: Selecting a Point of View (POV)

    This lesson explains the four points of view an author can use.
  • 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.
  • Lesson 8: Storyboarding

    This lesson defines what a storyboard is, and how to make and use one in the novel-writing process.
  • Lesson 9: Synopsis Formation

    This lesson explains what a synopsis is, and how to write one.
  • Lesson 10: Five Elements Involved in Fiction Writing

    This lesson describes the five elements that are crucial to writing a novel.
  • Lesson 11: Building Character Development

    This lesson explains the phases to go through as you develop your characters.
  • Lesson 12: Plot/Conflict Development

    This lesson explains how to establish a plot and conflicts.
  • Lesson 13: More on Plot

    This lesson discusses the different types of plot structures.
  • 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.
  • Lesson 15: Style and Tone

    In this lesson we discuss the style and tone of a novel and the difference between tone and mood.
  • Lesson 16: Climax Building

    This lesson describes how to build tension that leads to a climax.
  • Lesson 17: Critical Scenes

    This lesson defines critical scenes, and their placement within the novel.
  • Lesson 18: Cause & Effect

    This lesson describes the cause-and-effect actions that are critical to a novel's plot.
  • Lesson 19: Dialogue

    This lesson discusses the importance of dialogue, and how to make it realistic.
  • Lesson 20: Illustrative Details/Exposition

    This lesson discusses imagery, style, allusions, and symbolism in writing.
  • Lesson 21: Inclusion and Exclusion

    This lesson explains the dos and dont's of adding too much clutter to your writing.
  • Lesson 22: Writing a Conclusion

    This lesson explains the different ways to bring closure to your novel.
  • Lesson 23: Polishing of Prose

    This lesson explains how to proofread your writing.
  • Lesson 24: Checklist of Questions

    This lesson discusses how to remove clutter, and refine your manuscript.
  • Lesson 25: Publish or Perish: Getting Ready to Submit

    This lesson discusses the different ways to submit your work for publishing.
  • Lesson 26: Writing a Novel: Final Take Aways

    Inspirational quotes by some well-known authors, why they write, and why people read novels.

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 (5,205 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, Texas, and Washington.
Last Updated: December 2022
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

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.