Online Novel Writing Courses

Learn about the subjects that are usually addressed in online novel writing courses and how these classes work. Continue reading to learn about topics, degree options and online formats. Schools offering Creative Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Do Online Novel Writing Courses Cover?

Online courses in novel writing range from specific story types to overall style. Some classes cover topics about the form and structure of novels, and others provide information about finding and developing story ideas and getting published. Depending on your specific interest, you can take online courses that teach you how to write general fiction or specific genres, such as romance novels, mystery thrillers or children's books. Some common course topics include:

Planning a Novel

This course would focus on the challenges of constructing long-form fiction or non-fiction and the techniques used to overcome them. Students will learn methods to identify the best of their ideas, ways to conceptualize them into written form, and how to best realize them on the page through structuring and characterization.

Designing Characters

The things people do and why they do them are central to all forms of storytelling including the novel. In this kind of course, students will learn what makes for a compelling character as well as how to create one through personal history, personality, motive, and speech and how to convey these concepts through language and point of view.

Plot and Structure

As with all long form writing, knowing how to format your book to maintain the interest of your reader and the momentum of your story is a critical skill for novelists. This course would show students how to design a plot and mold it to maximize tension and suspense when appropriate, especially during the often treacherous 'long middle' of the story.

Novel Writing

A course like this would often be workshop based where students will submit pages for the instructor and fellow students to read and give feedback. The purpose is to gain familiarity with the process of writing the novel as well as identifying personal writing weaknesses and strengths and receiving inspiration from peers.

Writing a Memoir

Whether you're telling your own story or someone else's, the memoir is one way you can learn to write through an online course. This class would teach a writer how to craft meaning from an already existing story and how to present all elements of storytelling - like character, plot, and dialogue - in a truthful albeit intriguing way that holds the reader's interest.

Are These Degree Programs?

Many online courses in novel writing are offered as stand-alone classes. Some schools do offer online courses as part of a degree program in English, liberal arts or fiction writing at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

How Do Online Courses Work?

Online courses in novel writing are offered in a variety of different formats. They all require a computer and high-speed Internet access. You'll usually have to log in to a class website to access course materials and assignments.

You could be required to submit writing assignments for review by your instructor and classmates and provide your own feedback for your peers. In some cases, you'll participate in real-time video conferencing that requires a webcam and online audio. Classes can be a combination of self-paced courses that you complete on your own time and pre-scheduled classes that require your participation.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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