Creative Writing: Kickstart Your Novel | Nicola Valentine | Skillshare

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Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (42m)
    • 1. Kickstart your novel Skillshare Introduction

    • 2. Lesson 1: Finding Ideas and Inspiration

    • 3. Lesson 2: Writing Prompts

    • 4. Lesson 3: Using true stories or real events

    • 5. Lesson 4: Writing a premise

    • 6. Lesson 5: Ways of working

    • 7. Lesson 6: Writing a synopsis

    • 8. Lesson 7: Building Characters

    • 9. Lesson 8: Character Interview

    • 10. Lesson 9: Some tips on the writing

    • 11. Lesson 10: Class Project

    • 12. Lesson 11: Final Thoughts

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About This Class

Kickstart your Novel, working with a prize winning author. We'll cover how to find ideas and inspiration, and what to do next to grow and develop these into a plan for a novel. We'll look at the way different writers work and how you might go about finding your own writing process, and there'll be advice about the actual writing too. If you've always wanted to write a novel but don't know where to start, this is the course for you.



Meet Your Teacher

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Nicola Valentine

Prize winning writer of novels, stories and films


I'm a prize winning novelist as Nicola Monaghan, and also write best selling thrillers as Niki Valentine. I've published novels, short stories, articles in magazines and national newspapers and pieces for broadcast on BBC radio. I've also written and produced short films and am working on my first feature.



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1. Kickstart your novel Skillshare Introduction: Hello and welcome to my kickstart, your novel course here on Skillshare. Thanks for joining me here. My name is Nicholas Monahan and I'm a prize-winning author from Nottingham in the United Kingdom. This course is all about starting that first novel. So it's called kickstart your novel. And the idea is that I'm gonna give you the tools and the things that you need to start that book that you've always wanted to write. So it's perfect for beginners to writing or for people who've written in other forms like short stories and scripts. But really want to have a go that novel that they've always wanted to write. I'm going to take you through where you might look for ideas and where you might find ideas. I'm also going to talk to you about what to do with those ideas once you've found them. How to grow them into something that's got the depth and the detail and the possibilities of a novel about it. Then I'm going to take you through how to write a synopsis which are really useful documents that you'll need for all sorts of reasons but can really help you also as a planning tool, I'm going to talk you through building characters and how all of that works. And I'm gonna give you the basics of what makes good writing for a novelist. So hopefully that will be useful to you. I've got a class project which is all about you conceptualize in your novel. So do you pop that into the projects area so that I can have a look at it and give you some feedback on your work. I'm looking forward to getting going. So we're going to start with ideas, and I'll see you in the next lecture. 2. Lesson 1: Finding Ideas and Inspiration: So welcome to lecture one, which is all about ideas. Where do you get those pesky ideas from? It's the question that I'm asked most as a novelist. And so it's one that I've thought about quite a bit. My ideas tend to come from all over the place. Sometimes it's just something that comes from me in a dream. Sometimes it's something that happens to me in real life. Something I'm just inspired by rami or sometimes it's something that's more mentions to me and I think there's a novel in that. So there are all sorts of places you can find ideas if you're struggling at the moment, there's a few places you can look for ideas. So one of those is writing prompts on the Internet all over. If you just do a search on Google or a search on Twitter, you'll find lots and lots of places where you can get writing problems. And these are the kind of things that you might remember from school. So for example, the teacher writing a sentence on the board and asking you to continue that story or a sentence summary about what you need to write about write a story about a man who uses his dog, for example. So that's writing prompts and there are some writing prompts in this course here as well for you. But as I say, you can find loads on the Internet, just go to Twitter, that's my favorite place for writing problems. Literally go to Twitter and search writing prompts. And you'll find absolutely loads. What I found when I was looking for ideas in the first place is that I didn't have any. Weirdly, the ideas ended up coming from the writing. So the more that I wrote, the more ideas I had. Now I know that sounds like a bit of a vicious circle, but this is how it works for me. And I think what I did in order to get those ideas flowing was I started to write just scenes from my life, things that happened to me, probably some Him the more significant things, some of the more interesting things that I'd seen and been involved with and had experiences for off. And then I wrote those scenes. And the more I wrote that kind of thing, the more that I developed my skills as a writer, but also the more ideas came for me. So my list of ideas just got longer and longer and longer. And now I've got a huge list of ideas. I don't get time to do the mall. I don't get time to go back to them all but her there. And it means that I got loads of things. What I tend to find is it's the idea is that stay with me that start to obsess me. They're the ones that I end up writing. So you will find probably the less an idea that starts to become almost an obsession and that you really need to write about it and that the momentum builds for the idea. And you suddenly know this is the novel you need to write. That's how it's worked for me anyway. But if you're struggling for ideas and if you don't have that initial spark, there were loads of places you can look apart from the ones I've mentioned already. You can also look in newspapers where you might often spark off of a story, read something interesting that's happened, particularly if you're a crime writer. Often there's loads in the papers that can inspire you to write a novel. You might also be inspired by history. So for example, that Hilary Mantel wrote three novels about the rise and fall of Oliver Cromwell, fantastic novels and what a great story. And we have got those stories in histories, these really interesting times in our past that are there for, is to mine for our novels. So that might be a space that you can find some inspiration from. It might be a particular setting. For me, settings have been quite important and I've often started with a setting and then I found a character, and that's when the story start to kick off. So for example, one of the settings that I used was the state where I grew up as a child. That was a really interesting place. It had an awful lot going on quite a lot of crime, quite a lot of problems. But once I've got that setting and I found a character that I wanted to write about that became a really interesting story and it just was really fertile. I've also wrote about places that I've worked. So for example, I used to work in trading in London, and I've written about that. And again, that was really fertile. There are loads and loads of things in your own life that other people won't know about. Loads and loads of places and people and characters and ideas, and settings and things that you've experienced that other people will be interested in finding out about. So mine your own life for ideas, It's a really fertile territory. My third novel, actually a host or her, he was kind of based on something that happened to me on my honeymoon. So yeah, I mean, it was a good honeymoon. It honestly wasn't that bad despite me getting a horror story out of it. Perhaps even because of me getting a horror story out of it. So ideas can come from all over the place. And the main thing is to really process things that happened to you, things that you read, things that you see, just think about all the time. Any of this could be a novel. Any of these things could be ideas of starting points for stories. So just keep notes of them or keep mental notes of them. Process them and think about them. And now I'm going to tell you what to do with them next. So I'll see you in the next lecture. 3. Lesson 2: Writing Prompts: Okay, So I talked in the last lecture about writing prompts just very briefly. So I'm gonna go into a bit more detail about what these are now. Basically, a writing prompt is either piece of text or an image or a just a kind of hidden. That's something you can write to get you started. And these could be really good places. Because once you've started to do exercise and prompts, like I mentioned in the last lecture, that often inspires a lot more ideas and a lot more writing. Somebody show you a few examples. So these are some writing problems. Feel free if you want to. To pause the slide here and actually have a goat writing these. This is the kind of thing that you might actually find somewhere where there are various websites where you can get books with the men on. That might help you start something. So here's an example you lost in a wood with a friend. Describe what you see around you. What happens next. So there's a little bit there to get you describing something, and then immediately, as soon as you started to describe the scene, get some action what happens next. So the second example started seeing with the sentence. I got into the car and turned the key, but it wouldn't start. So this is more like you might done this kind of thing at school in your English lessons when you given a starting sentence and the idea is that you carry on the story from there and then finally here I've got an example of the opposite. So write a story that ends with the sentence, and that is how my baby learned to walk. So you've got something to work towards. You'll find lots of these in creative writing textbooks, and you'll also find them on nine. You could make yourself after a while. When you've done a few of thes, you'll recognize the way they work, and you can even make yourself either for you or if you're in a writer's group, you can share them and do them together. Let me show you a few places where you can find writing prompts if you're struggling. So there's a few websites their writer's digest have got prompts on it. There is a reddit with writing prompts this tumbler with writing prompts, but also If you just go to something like Twitter or Pinterest or even Google, and you search the terms writing prompts, you'll find stuff there. I found these to be really kind of fertile starting points on. I would recommend you have a go at this. It's just something to kind of get your brain firing so you're not starting from zero, and you wanna be playful about as well about your writing. If you forget to play often, you find you get a bit bored of writing if you're so focused on doing a project all the time. Even now, when I've almost always got a novel on the go, I will go to induce and writing prompts in the morning just to fire up my creative cylinders and get things go in. So anyway, I hope you find something useful to help you there, as I mentioned before. Sometimes it's a matter of just getting some writing down on the page, and then you'll find the ideas flowing. I hope that works for you. See you in the next lecture 4. Lesson 3: Using true stories or real events : Okay, So I briefly spoke about using true stories and how I've used three stories in my books before, so I'm gonna go into a little bit more detail about that now. So I often used tree stories, and this isn't an uncommon thing. A lot of writers do this on. Sometimes I kind of use real people, too. But I'm very careful about how I used real people. I would never write one character that was completely based on more person. I would always try Teoh amalgamate different aspects of different people to create somebody completely. No. So I have to say to be very careful with true stories. If you're writing a memoir, then you need to write the truth. Otherwise, you'll get in trouble on If you're writing fiction, which is what this course is about, then you need to make sure you fictionalize. And yet again you can get into trouble if you don't do that. So what? My advice would be this. Make sure you never fully based a character or on one person that's fraught with dangers. Sometimes, even when you haven't done that, you have to be careful with my honeymoon story. My husband was leafing through it going, Oh, this is what you think of May, and I had to explain to him, No, that definitely wasn't him. It definitely wasn't him. Who was that character in that horror story of which became offer you something because he carried on me day? But you do have to be careful because you can hurt people. I will set a scene in a very kind of intricately described flat of somebody that I knew on . The character in that scene was vaguely physically similar to her, but not all psychologically or any other way similar to her. But of course, she did assume it was her so that strictly so, be really, really careful with this never fully based a character on one particular person, always for aspects of different people together and create some one day and make sure that if you're writing a fictional story that you remove it from whatever the true story was that inspired it, so you make it different. It's not the same people. It's not the same location is not the same story. It's just a story inspired by the true story. I've got a little bit of a quite for us here on This doesn't just apply Teoh. When you're writing about true stories and creating fiction from them, it applies to fiction more generally from one of my favorite writers, Stephen King. And he says, fiction is a lie. A good fiction is the truth within the lie. And I think that's the case. Whether you're writing about real stories or you making it up from scratch based in a fantasy world on the planet Zog. I don't think it matters. There needs to be something fundamental there that feels true or the story won't work well , I leave that one with you and I'll see you in the next lecture. 5. Lesson 4: Writing a premise: Okay, so we get into the point where you've gone through that process of looking for ideas and you found some inspiration, whether that's been from a real life of them or writing problem that spark something or whatever. But you've got an idea and you're ready to start plumbing. My advice for the first stage of that planet would be to write a premise. So first of all, you're gonna need to know what promises. So here goes literally speaking. Promise means assumption or summary. So I describe it as a summary of the concept in the seed of the plot of your novel. We want to keep this nice and short 3 to 4 sentence maximum. And my biggest piece of advice for this is to imagine what you tell a friend if they asked you what she book about. So I've got a couple of examples here for you just to give you a sense of it. The 1st 1 this one is from a very classic book, so hopefully you'll recognize it are your woman becomes the governess for an older rich man . She falls in love with him but knows he'll never feel the same way about her, but she's wrong. You just never they almost Murray. But the man's past comes back to haunt them at just the wrong moment. So what? Hopefully recognize this is certainly a very family story For most people, it's Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. If you haven't read it a suggestion. Media is an excellent level, of course, something a bit more recent, a bit more contemporary, just to give you a sense of that as well. A married woman goes missing and a husband is immediately suspected. His behavior was very erratic and appears more and more that he must be guilty. But there's more to this story than meets the eye. Absolutely one of my success, this book. So hopefully it's more or less familiar also made into a film. I don't if you guessed it yet, but I'm going to tell you it's gonna go. So a few tips from me to help you write a premise and first of what I'm going to start by saying this is no easy at all is probably one of the hardest things to do to take an idea and just really boil it down. But it's worth doing because this is really going to give you a sense of the whole book on . And if you do this properly, is gonna help make your project coherent before you even start. So I honestly think it's a brilliant first step, so I would stop by doing something that's even harder. Eso I'd start by trying to write a one sentence summary on, then take that one sentence and expand it to three sentences. So I really tried to get the heart of it to the heart of what your story is right into the center of it. That's what's key here. Try to get the gist of it. This doesn't need character names for the ending of the story. So you see the examples that I showed you a woman, a married woman, a governess. We keep it very general when we steer away from the current two names. If you are struggling with this slightly, then one place that suggest you go and have a look. Is this snowflake method From this link here, snowflake method or you can put snowflake method into Google and you'll find it. Snowflake method really is a kind of method that you can use to write a novel, and I found it useful. Well, then I find it more useful than anything else. When I'm trying to write summary documents like a premise or a synopsis that will come to so have a look, it might help you. It might not, but we'll move on to the next step shortly. I'll see you in the next lesson. 6. Lesson 5: Ways of working: right. So I mentioned before that there were lots of different ways of doing this. There isn't one way to build, create, plan or plot a novel. So if anyone tells you there is, don't interest them. I'm gonna talk to you a little bit about different writers in their ways of doing it. So writers often come up with metaphors to describe their writing process. Probably not that surprising, creative, wordy people they're bound to come up with. Metta feels I'm here are a few that I've come across first of all, the idea of growing a tail. And I got this really from an essay written by Hilary Mantel, which I'll give you a reference for later. This is the idea of writers as gardeners of writing is an organic process on often writers . You work this way. They'll collect physical artifacts, postcards, maps, snippets of texts. They might use a court border, a folder other they're doing, engaging in quite a physical process. Often, what they're really doing is building the idea within themselves, and those physical artifacts is just helping. Like I said, this is the way Hillary mantel work, so there's gotta be worse models but there are other ways of doing it. So, for example, Stephen King talks about writing is Archaeology is stories is found relics, and he talks about this quite a lot in his book on writing on Def. You see interviews with him is quite a lot online on YouTube, if you take a look, and this is the idea that you dig out with story. Stephen King thinks about his story a lot before he starts writing, but he doesn't plan and plot in any traditional way. He writes lots of words on, then trips away at that draft until he gets the actual story. An interesting way of doing it wouldn't work for May. But who am I to argue Stephen King on? Then there's the idea of planning or designing a story, kind of that you're an architect of the story. If you read the snowflake method that I pointed you to in a previous lecture, that's the idea behind that. The idea that you design your plan, who control and you only find it in right the story at the end, in my opinion, in reality, certainly my process on the process of most people that I've spoken to. It tends to be a picker mix of all of these things and maybe other stuff as well. There are probably as many ways of working is there are writers, so there is no right or wrong. There is no one size fits, sort of really. What it's about is finding your own way, finding what works for you. So how can you do that? How can you find what works for you? Well, actually, probably really. The only way that you're going to find out what works for you is a novelist is to write a novel of and how which bits work, which wich stone and generally develop process over time. It's not easy. It's not quick. There's no simple solution. But here are a few things that might help guide you along the way. So maybe just think about what kind of person you are. What kind of brain do you have? A. You very organized a logical person. I kind of am was. One of the ways that I've plotted and planned is with lists. I've actually even used Excel spreadsheets for my sins, but that's not gonna work for everyone because some people would find that a complete straight jacket. So if you're more of a free four splurging out kind of person that you might want to write a lot off words before you start planning. Or you might want to do what Stephen King does right loads of words in the chip away at them. Or you might want to collect kind of things that make you think about the story that bringing their that pull you in. So what kind of personal you, But also what kind of book you writing that could be important. If you're writing a thriller, you're probably going to need to plot that a lot more carefully than if you're writing a sprawling, epic mystery novel. So that's important as well. But ultimately there is no right off amounts of this. It's really about finding something that works for you, and it might change from book to book, and it might changes you grown developers, a writer. I know that certainly what I've found, but my biggest advice is just start doing stuff around your book, just start reading stuff, listening to stuff and printing stuff and collecting things that are around the theme of your book, Go to Pinterest, create a Pinterest board, that kind of thing. So this isn't a simple thing, isn't there? Isn't a yes or no answer, but play play be be creative, be playful and see what happens next. So this is just a bit of further reading on this subject that might help you. These two things really almost the opposite ends of the scale in terms of how writers work , I think so. You've got the very organic method that Hillary Montella's found so productive. And she writes about this in in an essay called Running a Tale, which is in a collection called The Agony in the Ego, edited by Claire Boiler. Lots of useful essays in there. But Hillary is particularly about writing, processing, about that organic way of working on then the snowflake method, which is theme or logical architect planning and plotting method, which I've mentioned before but always worth mentioning again on you confined that advanced fiction writing dot com, Or if you just do a Google search on circulate method, it will come up. I hope those helpful for you, Andi, I'll see you in the next lecture 7. Lesson 6: Writing a synopsis: moving on now to writing a synopsis, So this is a little bit like writing a promise, but it's a longer version. Summer talked to a little bit about what synopsis is to start with, So synopsis is a pure action summary of what happens in the story. I'm really when you're writing a synopsis, you want to talk about what people do and what they say when you want to keep it simple. Not simple is the premise. It's not summary anymore. In the same way that premise WAAS. It's an action summary, so we're going to quite a bit more detail than that premise. So to give you a sense of how long this will bay, well, we write Synopsys for different purposes. Our former right synopses to send out our book to an editor or an agent on will be writing that kind of synopsis. You won't want to pages maximum, however, uh, the other kind of synopsis that might be useful to you, and especially at this stage, is a planning synopsis. Now that could be short to that could be one or two pages or five pages where you'll find over time what works for you for May I find a synopsis of 20 pages extremely helpful. That's the level of detail that I really need to start writing. So you might want to start with that and see where you go, See if it works for you. So how are you going to write this? Snaps then what do you do next to get this written? Well, my key tips to start from the center of your story of work out. Lots of people hate writing Synopsys on One of the reasons they hate it so much is that they tend to write the book on, then right. The synopsis of the end on the problem that you've got then is that you just know so much about your book. So many intricacies of what happens that it's really hard to put it down. So if you finished your book or if you haven't finished your book wherever stayed, you are the first stage from you right in the synapse sisters to try and boil out what's right at the center of your story on work out from there. So if you've already written a premise you're miles ahead. You already in a great position to write a full synopsis. You don't need every twist and turn of the story. Keep it simple. Keep to the main parts of the plot. But also you should make sure that you're writing about what happens. So it's that action that we're interested in, not the motivations, not the themes of your novel. None of that stuff, only the actual action. So my steps for writing a synopsis So I would start with your three sentence premise, take each one of those sentences and expanded into a paragraph, adding more detail about what happens and then rewrite that for smoothness that should give you a very short synopsis about half a page to a page of a four. So how do you explain that into a document that will help you with your planning on Make that quite long, if that's what you need. While my advice is just to keep expanding, keep following that same process, take one paragraph, turned it into three. Keep me writing for smoothness and keep going until you've got the number of pages that you feel that you need that gonna help you write the book so that cover two pages it could be 20 pages. It could be 200 pages. Although I would suggest if you've got as far as 200 pages, you've probably resisted the novel. But some people do need quite a lot of planning. It really depends on you on the kind of book that your writing is we've talked about before on again. I would suggest strongly suggest that the snowflake method can help you with this. It certainly does. For May, I found the snowflake method one of the best ways of clarifying my ideas and just getting them a bit more pure and simple and coherent on getting that oneness about project on. Actually, I found that even sometimes when I finished the book, and I'm trying to create a synopsis for submission, so have a look. See if that helps you see, I've shown you the links to that in the previous lectures. All right, see you in the next one. 8. Lesson 7: Building Characters : right. Well, we really getting into the nitty gritty of things. Now I'm gonna start to talk to you a little bit about building characters and the importance of characters to story. So some basics about characters characters are very important to be dis into your story. You can't really have a story without characters. It would be very difficult. I can't even really imagine a story without characters. And I think characters that some of the hardest work that you do, because if you characters are believable, then you're gonna have problems. If you read it doesn't believe in your characters. They're not gonna believe in your story. And they're not gonna enjoy the story because they need somebody to cling to someone to follow, someone to support in order to really go with your story. So they need to be believable. But hopefully, no, actually, riel, as we've discussed before, one thing that I would say above all else is that your current is should lead the plot. So even if you planned a plot, you've written the most amazing synopsis you've got. It'll pin down, you might find while you're writing it that that doesn't actually fit with the characters, after all, on the last thing you want to be doing is pushing your characters into situations that making them do things that they wouldn't do just because that serves the plot. So be really aware of that and try to avoid that as much as you can. The characters should lead the plot, not the other way around. So how come we build good characters? How can we create these really stick feeling people inside our stories? My biggest advice is that characters reveal themselves from what they do. Sometimes you'll have an idea for a character, and that will be the center of what you're doing on. It will come to you very fully formed and you'll know exactly where you're going with their . But that doesn't always happen. Sometimes they're needy, formless when they appear on. All you've got is a name in a situation. I suggest that you write your way into them so this could be writing that's actually going to go in the book. Or it could be exploratory writing that helps you understand the characters for May. Putting that character into a scene or situation is almost always the best way to find out who they are. However, there are some of the techniques that can help you. You can do character questionnaires or interviews you can do writing prompts of exercises that involve your characters. You can get your character. Actually, you can pretend to be your character on answer questions. Partain ISI as if you are your character. And that could really help you get into their minds set of work out who they are and also had a build who they are in quite a spontaneous kind of way in quite a random Why, really, But it gives you a starting point on. After all, you could always change your mind later. So I'm going to give you a current to interview. I'm gonna interview a character in just a moment in the next lecture, so I'll see you there. 9. Lesson 8: Character Interview: All right, so now it's time for your current to interview. Now, the idea of this lesson is that you can use it as many times as you like to help you generate characters, build characters, find out more about them, and it's just gonna be simply me asking a few questions. And this is how it's gonna work. I'm gonna throw questions at you about your character. The idea is that you want to them as if you were your character. So you're putting yourself right inside their head. Also handsome. Quickly part. This is about automatic generation of ideas. So don't think too hard. Just throw out an answer. If you find that there's a particular question that is speaking to you and you want to write more about, just pause the video of all for that, pause the video and get on with writing what you think. Okay, so that's stopped. What's your name? How old are you? What month She birthday. What color of your eyes? What color is your hair? Do other people tell you that you're attractive? Do you see yourself is attractive. Do you think it matters? What do you think of your parents. What did you think of them growing up? He was the most important person in your life right now. Why? What do you want most in the world? What did you want most in the world when he was seven? Are you cat or a dog person? All you religious what? Cheap and even what? Your political leanings. What do you want right now? But I'm just gonna pause on this question a minute because I think this is an important one . I think this is a question you should be asking regularly. Especially about your main character. Constantly stopped yourself as she writes it. What does my character my main protagonists want right now is a very key question. When you're writing a novel, your character's should want something. Protagonists should need to get something. Otherwise, you're gonna lose tension and conflict. So keep this question in mind while you write to ask this question about your main character again and again and again. Okay. I'll see you in the next world 10. Lesson 9: Some tips on the writing: all right, So fill you with stage where you've got an idea. You've started to develop it on you, perhaps ready to do some actual writing. So here's some advice for when you get to that point. Like I've said about everything else, there is no one way of doing. It is about finding a process that works for you. But in my opinion, one of the best things you can do for yourself as a writer is join a writing group of some description. And that could be a really life writing route where you actually meet up and you share work and share ideas and share your practice. Or it could be online. In a natural fact, online often works better for some reason, but the most important thing is to get feedback from others. They're gonna be able to look at your work, the little bit of distance, a little bit of objectivity and give you some genuine feedback on what's working in your writing on what's what's not working so well. My other biggest piece of advice is to read a lot. The more you read, the more you'll get a sense of what other writers air doing on what works in a book on what doesn't so readers Many novels. If you can get your hands on read about writing, read about craft, read books like Stephen King's On Writing on the collection of essays that I've talked about already. The warm with Hillary Montel's Growing a Tail, which is called the Agony and the ego, get hold of his many of those kind of craft texts as you can as well on then. The other thing I'd say is that don't expect to sit down and write your novel all in one go on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. Actually, it's all about drafting the first stuff that you write our will probably be rubbish, or it certainly won't be the standard that you wanted to pay, and so you're gonna need to write, rewrite the make it better. This is a draft draft and redraft my number one writing Tip O. And this is the thing that I find myself saying. To beginning writers over and over again is the make sure that as much as you can, you are showing and dramatizing scenes between your characters that you keep in the writing very immediate and vivid and focus on what people do and say Don't get to Internal. It's okay to have a bit of internal stuff, a bit of commentary, a North aerial comment, but try not to do that too much because it's not the most interesting bit of your story, but it's not the most fun to read. So here's an example. This is an example of an author telling the reader something. So Rachel thought that David was a bit creepy and avoided it when she could. I want to show you how you could make a scene out of that. So how you could show the reader the same thing? Rachel saw David walking near the way down the street. She shivered. She tried not to notice the way he was staring her. She crossed the road and looked in the other direction, pretending she hadn't seen him there. 11. Lesson 10: Class Project: so onto the class project. And for this class, I'm gonna ask you to write a title blurb and cover for your story. So your class project is to finalize your title, right to blur and come up with the cover concepts. And the reason I'm asking you to do this is because I think this really helps you to clarify what your story is or what it's about on what's right at the core of that novel. So for title titles aren't easy, some people have a knack for them. Other people find it really, really hard. But what we're looking for is something that encapsulates the story neatly, but hopefully something that has a few meanings. Perhaps you might want to have quote from some of your writing. If you got that far, you might want to have a quote from someone else's story or writing from Shakespeare that could be quite fertile ground. There isn't any right or wrong way to do this, so just try your best to be creative and to come up with something that really sums things up for you starts the title. The blurb. This is the kind of sales e summaries a little bit like a synopsis, but it's not quite the same thing because we don't want to give away the ending. We don't want to give away too much of the plot. We want to entice the reader into read this story. So my advice for this would be to start off with your premise and develop it into a slightly longer paragraph and with a cliffhanger or a bit of a summary about the novel or bit of both, leave the reader wanting more. That's the whole point of the blood to make the readers want to read your book. So don't give away the ending if you're looking for inspiration to cook the online bookshops and your online book depositories. So places like Good reads Barnes and Noble Amazon on nine Waterstones word dory. Anybody like that and you'll see lots and lots of blurbs about books. So an example from one of my books, Mind of Patrol. So this is the kind of thing that your looking to dio three friends a dark secret from the past, an Internet troll threatening to tell the world. Welcome to The Troll, the creepy, page turning psychological thriller Siri's from the prize winning author of The Killing Jar Perfect with Friends of Gone Girl and CL tailless The Lie. Louisa is an academic at the local university. Cal use a radio presenter on Adam is a provocative, modern artists. They've been friends forever, and to outsiders, their lives look like the very definition of perfection. But they have secrets on a past they'd rather leave behind. When Sick Man appears in their social media feeds is easy to dismiss him at first as a jealous Internet troll. But when it turns out sick, one knows them, he knows what they did that summer. Can it really be Gary Bukovsky there, old friend back from the dead, The way appears to bay? Or is this truth even stranger than it first appears? The tents fricking mystery that will keep you guessing right until the last page. So that's the blurb on I always think with the blurb. You've almost looking for something that you could imagine being read out in, You know, in that dramatic trailer voice that you get when you're watching a trailer for a film. So bear that in mind when you writing it too on for the cover for your project. I'm not looking for a professionally designed cover, something It looks amazing that I could imagine upon Amazon the next day. I'm looking for a concept so you could do this anyway, you like if you want to draw it. If you're good at drawing and that's you're saying drawer cover created and then take a picture posted up in the project area or you convert a shop it you could design it if you into that kind of thing again. We're looking for an idea, a concept. It doesn't have to be perfect and professional. Or you could just find an image that you like and that you think catches your story and you can use that and just share that with us. There's some places here that you can have a look for fact to find free images to help with this exercise on our post these up so that you could get to them linked to them from the class. But you can go to flicker and search for Creative Commons. You can search for a creative commons on Google. Just be a bit careful because just because it's come upon your search doesn't mean it's a creative common. So just look for the permissions for that particular image. So here's an example of a book cover. I did get a professional designer to do this for me because I'm not so good with photo shop . But I'm not expecting this level of professionalism from yours in your projects. It also don't panic. But why did Here is I found two stock images that spoke to me about this story. One was a deep, dark woods that was part of my story. And then the other was a kind of technical looking, Internet binary kind of drawing that just felt like it fit with story on my combined those two together to create this image here. On that, I also put in a tagline so kind of a little description of what my book was like, what it was about on some quotes from previous reviews. Now, clearly, you probably write your first novel if you do in this course, so you won't have quotes for previous reviews. But hey, for the purpose of this exercise, if you want to put something like that in making up, I mean don't do that when you put in the pot of person. But for the purpose of your project here, that's absolutely fine. Let's have some fun with this and get a bit creative. I'm really, really looking forward to see where you go with this. Hopefully, it's a project that you'll find a bit of fun on that you'll be able to go somewhere with them. That will help clarify for you what your book is, what your novels about. I'm really excited to see where you go on. I'm looking forward to seeing you projects. So get going and get posting and I'll see you in the next lecture, which is in fact, the final lecture. See, then. 12. Lesson 11: Final Thoughts: And so we've come to the end of the course on is just a few things I'd like to say. Festival. Well done. Hopefully you've come up with an idea and you begin to develop that into a novel and maybe even started the writing. Do you post something in the project gallery so that I can give you some feedback about your project and hopefully help you make it even better? Good. Look, I do hope that you go on to write this novel in that you get to the end of it. It's not always easy. It's quite a long project in a big commitment, and it does take a lot of time. So good luck with all of its some advice that I hade. This was quite early in my career, an older writer talking to keep on keeping on. And it was only really later that I understood the importance of this. But the difference, I think, between people you get to the end of the book. People who get published on even people who stay published is just being relentless and persevering. So that's what I suggest you do finally, a little bit of further reading for May, So these are some things that I think can help. One is the Book on Writing by Stephen King, which is a memoir but is also full of lots of really useful writing advice. I can't recommend it highly enough. It's a fantastic book, then. Also Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction by Patricia Highsmith. On Although that's aimed at people who want to write a thriller, the advice is really useful for anybody writing a book, particularly if you want to get your right readers turning the page on. Then finally, Emma Darwin's block. If you search for each of writing or Emma Dominar Google, you find this. But the actual website address is Emma Darwin doc type pad dot com. I recommend this block because Emma talks about all sorts of different aspects of writing that she talks about them in a really interesting and nuanced way. One of the best blocks have come across on creative writing, so that's my advice. Thanks again for sticking with the course. I do hope you've enjoyed it and got lots out of it. Please do consider leaving the review their very much appreciated. There's gonna be more creative writing courses from your skill share. So keep an eye out on. Hopefully I'll see you in another one. Thanks again.