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Thank you for enrolling on our course, and welcome to the world of M.A. Whitley Academy – the place where you can find many articles and guides that will help you in your writing career.
In fact, that was how this course came to be – when we asked ourselves: how can we help aspiring writers better? The answer was two-fold. First, we already have many guides and articles to help you – from how to write a novel, to specific genres to publishing insights. Second, and more important, we realised that what we did not have was time.
Writing a novel is a process that can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more. You may start off with a bang, and write the first half of it in a week or so, and then…
And then you might hit the snag – like I did – and wonder where it all went wrong and what you are supposed to do now. And in that situation, this particular writer understood that what she really needed was a guide that would not just show her the process of writing a novel, but guide her through that same process, like a guiding hand, a thread that she could follow until the finish line.
This course is meant to be that thread that you could follow. With our course, you will be able to construct and write your novel within a year maximum time. Each week, you will (hopefully) learn something new about the process of writing the first draft, get a push to work on your novel until the next lesson, and you will also get a certain set of tasks meant to help you improve upon all aspects, from writing descriptions and paragraphs, to crafting magnificent dialogue and humorous banter.
Of course, this does not mean that at the end of the year, you will have only a first draft at hand. Actually, our goal is to help you write and prepare your novel for publication – in three phases. The first phase is preparing your novel, the second will focus on writing your novel, and the third phase will focus on editing your novel and preparing it for self-publication or traditional publishing. It will not be the end of the road – it will actually be the beginning of the publishing road, so this guide is meant to ensure that you’ve got the biggest head start that you possibly can get in this day and age.
And before you think that the homework will be difficult, gruelling, or even take too much of your time, know that these tasks are not meant to take up a lot of your time. In fact, all of these tasks will be related to the process of you writing in your novel, and as such (we hope!) will assist you in getting through the first draft even faster.
So, for our first week, while we do not have a particular lesson, we do have two tasks at hand for you to do:
1) In order to get a comprehensive understanding of what writing a novel is like, and what it will demand of you – read our Beginner’s Guide to Writing a Novel.
2) After reading the guide, you will need to make a choice on which novel you will start working on. This can be:
– a completely brand new novel…
– a continuation of an old project forgotten in a drawer…
– a continuation of a short story, or a novel set in the same world…
– an idea that has been on your mind but you have not put on paper yet…
…and many other options.
The aim of this task is for you to have some time to think this through. Writing a novel can be fun – but it can also be gruelling. Often, the demands of the story and the demands of what your heart wants to write about can be in conflict. As you write your novel, you might be enticed by a different world, a different character, a different story, so you need to ensure that the story you choose to write will be both dear to your heart and will be something that you will want to focus on in the coming weeks and months.
So, take your time with this task, not just a week, but more if you need, to choose which project you will work on, which characters you wish to portray in the novel, and ultimately, which story do you wish to tell.
Thank you again for signing onto our course! We hope that within a year, you will have a publishable novel ready at hand!
Next week, we will focus on creating writing habits, and choosing your own method for writing a novel.