Novel Writing for Beginners: How to Write your First Draft | Nia Hogan | Skillshare

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Novel Writing for Beginners: How to Write your First Draft

teacher avatar Nia Hogan, Storyteller

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

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Intro: Novel Writing for Beginners


    • 2.

      Storytelling and Structure


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Setting the Stage


    • 5.

      Casting Call


    • 6.

      Plot and Conflict


    • 7.



    • 8.

      Point of View


    • 9.

      Storyline Mobility


    • 10.

      Andddd Scene!


    • 11.

      Defining Genre


    • 12.

      Starting Line


    • 13.

      Show, Not Tell


    • 14.



    • 15.

      Voice, Style, Tone


    • 16.

      Master of the Page Turner


    • 17.

      Finding the Story Within You


    • 18.

      Overcoming the Block


    • 19.

      The P.C.C.S.E.L.F Approach


    • 20.

      First Drafts


    • 21.



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About This Class

Novel Writing for Beginners: How to Write Your First Draft is a course for new or aspiring writers who want to turn their ideas into reality. Crafting your first novel shouldn't be difficult and I've compiled all of the information necessary to write your first draft, as well as information that will be useful in the writing process.

If you've dreamed of writing a novel but have no idea where to start, if you've found yourself stuck somewhere between planning and finishing the first draft, if you lack the skills or confidence to complete your first manuscript, or if you need a clearer, more concise picture on writing a novel, this hour and a half long course is perfect for you!

What you'll learn in this course: 

  • the key elements of a story
  • the six fundamental areas for planning your first novel
  • to discover your own unique storyline
  • how to effectively structure and create a sellable fiction piece
  • how to overcome any obstacles on your journey

My name is Nia Hogan. I am a three-time self-published author and I’ve been writing professionally for the past five years. I earned my MFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment from Full Sail University. If you’d like to learn more about me or see some of the projects I’ve worked on, please visit my website:

Connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Youtube.

Feel free to email me at as well.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Nia Hogan



I'm a multi-published author, educator, and your facilitator.

I'm a New Jersey native, but Florida has been my home for over 20 years. I earned my MFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment from Full Sail University and am also a Master of Education. I have self-published 4 novels and 1 craft book and produce resources for writers.

Writing has always been my passion but I've been in the business for almost 10 years. Between ghostwriting novels, to creating copy for small businesses, I've helped many writers to develop their craft over the years.

When I'm not writing, I'm looking for new content to create or curled up with a good book.

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: Novel Writing for Beginners: Hello and welcome to novel writing for beginners. How to write your first draft. My name is Nina Hogan and I'm the creator, facilitator and narrator for this course. Thank you for joining me. You could have enrolled in another course with any other master writer, but you've decided to entrust in my skills and expertise. And I appreciate your support, your willingness to learn, and I admire anyone who takes the time to develop their craft. So without further ado, I'd like to explain how this course works. This course consists of 19 chapters and 21 lessons. And all this is a self paced course that you can pause and resume at any time. This course works best if you complete each lesson in order and complete any exercises within the lessons for this course other than your device that you're using to view this course, I suggest keeping a pen and paper handy or if you're a digital person like myself, keeping a document open to complete the exercises and take notes. I hope that this course gives you everything you need to begin writing your first novel. I will be available to answer questions for the good of the order in the comment section and for any personal questions via email. I will get back to you within 48 hours. If you posting a question Monday through Friday, please feel free to interact in the comment section with your peers and ask me anything. That's what I'm here for. No, let's get on with the show. In this course, here are the five main things you will learn. Each lesson will have its own lesson objectives, so there's much more where this came from. But by the end of the course thes of the major takeaways you should have, I hope, these learning goals in line with your personal writing goals. If not, please feel free to stop here and request a full refund. That's right, a full refund. Just email me. No explanation is necessary, and I will issue a refund, no questions asked. I am confident that this course will help you to complete your first manuscript, if that's what you're looking to do. Still not sure if this course is right for you. I've developed this course for anyone who has been dreaming about writing a novel but has no idea where to start anyone who has tried to write their first novel but has found themselves stuck somewhere along the way. Anyone who has the skills to write but simply lacks the confidence needed to get started. Anyone who started their research but is currently in a state of what I like to call information overload, meaning there's too much information out there on the Internet and you're struggling to sift through it all. And you're looking for a clear picture to help get you started. If you answered yes to any of these questions than this course is perfect for you, so a little bit about me again. My name is Nia Hogan. I started my writing career as an indie author at the time of this recording. I have the re novels that I've self published 21 e books for writers ready for publication and a new young adult, Siri's That's in the works. I got my foot in the door by freelance writing, helping writers, creating developed plots, writing articles, blob posts and I did a lot of editing for about three years before I started goes writing. I have completed over 10 full manuscript is and have helped with quite a few partial Manu scripts in my day, as much as I like a spying writers to do the work, I understand that time isn't always on everyone's side. And some people just like being the idea person and need people like me who craved the satisfaction of finishing a story to help the about. I love cats, and when I'm not writing, I'm traveling this beautiful earth and hunting a little street art while I'm out there. 2. Storytelling and Structure: Chapter one. In this chapter, you will gain an understanding of storytelling and story structure. Throughout this course, you will see high quality photography, courtesy of on slash dot com. Like you see here, I will reference the photographer in the caption below the photo to credit them for their work from my future novelists who are also bloggers. This is a great resource for free stock photography. And while I'm not a paid affiliate for a splash, I just want you to know that I highly recommend this resource as it's one that I use for my bloggers well at nea hogan dot com slash blawg. If history were taught in the form of stories it would never be for gotten Rudyard Kipling Lesson one. What is storytelling? What is storytelling? According to the National Storytelling network, storytelling is an ancient art form and a valuable form of human expression. Storytelling should accomplish one of the following six things. It will more than likely achieve more than one of these things. But keep in mind that if your final story does not have one of these following attributes, you do not have a salable product on your hand entertainments probably the number one things novels intend to do and that all writers air hoping for novels can and should educate us in some way. We should be learning from your characters and the lessons they learn along the way. You don't have to write historical fiction to preserve or ruedas in the culture. Culture is all around us, and your characters will take on their own cultures. Book should help us to connect, and that could be to the past, to the world we live in today or to the future that could be upon us. Whether we look at ourselves, it's persuasive writers. That's what creative writers are and are writing will naturally sometimes reflect that storytelling is both an art and a craft there. One in the same telling a story is your expression of the human experience, and that takes skill. I encourage you to honor this art form and to build on your craft as much as you can. There is no real ending. It's just the place where you stop the story. Frank Herbert Lesson two story structure story structure is the framework that you used to present your novel. There are so many ways that you construct your novel, but that the react structure is not only simple to understand and duplicate, but it's proven the test of time. You were exposed to the structure, probably as early as kindergarten, and this structure is what I'll be teaching from throughout this course because it's easy to master. And it's a great way to teach story structure to new writers. I won't read it to you. Ah, but this Nancy Lamb quote that I've included is definitely worth taking a look at because it explains why it's OK to go against the grain. But why? I'm choosing to keep it simple for you. All right, we're already done with the 1st 2 lessons. Can you believe it? Are you ready to review lessons? One and two, Let's recap. Storytelling is a form of human expression intended to entertain, educate, connect, influence and or root us in or preserve culture and story structure is the framework for your story, and that structure is ultimately up to you. 3. Premise: Chapter two. No one says a novel had to be one thing. It could be anything it wants to be a vaudeville show. The Six Oclock News. The Mumblings of Wild Men Saddled by demons Ishmael Reed Lesson three Premise. Before I dive into the objectives for this chapter, I'd like to take a moment to recognize my very talented sister, Ebony Hogan. She has contributed designs for the story elements will be discussing in this course. Depending on when you take this course, you might see the same designs used for the covers of the e books and audiobooks have created for students not interested in enrolling in this course. But who would like detailed information on these elements. So in this chapter you will learn what premises, how to start developing your premise and the overall Do's and Dont's premise does many things. I won't read all the bullet points here, but the big idea is that premises the underlying belief behind your story. It is the foundation for everything your characters say and do, and the things that happen to them premises the purpose for your writing and should be developed before you do anything else. Pause here. If you're still reading because we're moving on to the next slide and 54 three, it's time for your first exercise. We're going to start by making a list of some of the lessons we've had to learn in life. Take a few minutes to think about some of the hard things you've had to learn over time and some of the lessons that are most important to you. It's easier to teach about things you know when have experienced. This is just a brainstorming exercise, and by no means do you have to use any of these lessons to craft your premise. But I think it's a good place to start pause here and do a little brainstorming, All right, hopefully you've done a little brainstorming. My suggestion is to start thinking about ways characters or events might be able to help prove this. Let's go back to the love conquers all premise from the previous slide. How can your characters prove that love will be stronger than anything? What events could they overcome to prove that their love is everlasting? Let's move on to the do's and dont's of premise. Please be sure that you don't move onto the next chapter until you have a premise under your belt. Feel free to stop here and research popular premises online. It's okay if you're choosing something cliche. The goal is to find a universal truth that people can relate to and come up with their own interpretation Off. Think of the big picture because the premise is really the spine of your entire novel. Do not get overwhelmed. I know that's not up there, but I have a feeling someone is on the other side of this computer with spicy armpits already for no reason. Remember that premises a phrase or a short sentence? You're not going into detail about characters or events premises. Not a moral, either. If you've ever read a stops fables, then you know that a moral is found at the end of each story, explicitly stating what can be learned. That is not what we're doing here. And readers no longer appreciate being judged and talked down to premises never stated in your writing, so there's no reason to be stressed out about what it sounds like. You're the only person who will ever know what the premises think of, Premise says this fund secret guessing game, where readers air trying to guess the meaning of your book and your the only person that knows but you relish in their interpretations. Still, premises so important, even though it goes without being said in summary premise, will serve as the foundation for your story and what your character's actions air trying to prove. Hopefully, you've completed the exercise and brainstormed a few premises to choose from or get your creative juices flowing. And, of course, we covered the major do's and don't surrounding premise. 4. Setting the Stage: Chapter three. I don't pick and choose subjects or settings. They pick and choose me that grim Seth lesson for setting the stage In this chapter, you'll learn about setting why it's so important to establish setting once you're done with premise and how to get started. Setting, simply put, is the place in time your novel takes place. Most novels will have multiple settings, and they can be really places your readers can actually visit. They can be completely fabricated worlds you developed, or they can be inspired by places you've been or know about. And, of course, the time could be past, present or future. Establishing setting is so, so very important. I'm going to tell you a quick story. When I worked my first novel like hair cells, I had a loose idea of where my story was set, but I didn't really think through. Setting about halfway through the novel, I realized it's setting played a crucial world in certain events that were happening in the story, and I had to stop and do a ton of research and rewriting to ensure that things made sense and that this story was possible. I wasted so much time and don't want you to do the same. Setting is not only there to help readers visualize where your characters are, but it also sets limitations on what can happen now. I don't want you to think about limitations as a bad thing, just things to consider before you go any further. All right, Our next exercise is going to start with another brainstorming activity. Make a list of places you visited if you don't like to travel or haven't been anywhere outside of your home town, The advantage here is that you know your hometown very well and can write about your town or create a town that's very similar. But the disadvantage here is that travel can be very inspirational and informative. And if you don't travel that it might be a bit harder to write about certain places accurately. I encourage you to travel. I encourage you to go on solo, writing retreats and get out of your own backyard. But I understand the struggle. Israel. So if money and time off is the issue, then you need to get to researching. I am right about places I've never visited, but I immersed myself the best I can in tow articles, videos and the experiences of people who've traveled there. Once you've done that, I want you to create a document on your computer or get out of a new sheet of paper, and I want to call it setting reference sheet or something like that. This is going to be an ongoing document that you will refer back to a lot during the writing process. Here is where you'll keep a list of everything you can about the settings your characters visit. You can add settings, takes him away. But be sure to write down important things so you don't have to go back and check. The descriptions are consistent. It's also a good way to get to know the settings yourself so you know how characters will interact in them. It also helps with descriptive writing practice to describe a space. And it's a good way to ensure these settings air right for the events that you want to take place in them. When you finish this list, and when she ask yourself, Is this a real place or a place I'm fabricating? This is important for you to establish, because accuracy is your number one priority. If this is a real place. Also, because setting is more than just places, you also have to establish time. I'd also like you to keep a timeline on this document if you know your story is going to lapse in time. I'm telling you this from experience, that this timeline will save you a ton of time trying to do the calculations later on. This is something I also had to learn the hard way. The idea is you add this list and edit it throughout the writing process. Also, be clear and intentional about your settings to broad means. Readers may have a hard time staying grounded in the story, and too narrow gives no opportunity for the readers to use their imagination. If this is a real setting to Rekha setting is the when and where of your novel. It's important for your reader and for you. As a writer, you hopefully have completed the brainstorming activity and have at least a broad ideas such as country or state you'd like to use is your muse. I also hope you've started your setting reference sheet as it will come in handy later 5. Casting Call: Chapter four, A writer could never know about a character's feelings. What is not somewhere mirrored in her own Katherine Paterson? Less than five casting call are less than objectives. In this chapter are to understand characters and character development, how to develop believable in dimensional characters and how you can start that process yourself. Characters of the people, animals or beings in your story. Character development is the process of developing your characters in depth, their characters. And then there are effective characters. The difference is that every person you add in your stories a character. But effective characters are believable and have dimension. Developing characters is fun. At least it should be. You get to dig into how your character thinks what motivates them and what their triggers are. You don't have to be a behavioral analyst to develop while rounded characters. You just have to take your time to get to know them, build relationships with them and examine them carefully so that their actions and choices air believable and their characters with depth that people can actually feel emotion towards. Underdeveloped characters are going to result in a flat story that is unmemorable and dry. While defined characters are going to give you a compelling story that people are going to be talking about. You have to remember that your characters drive your plot. If your novel is the car, your characters of the drivers and the passengers, and if they're dry and boring, your story will be a swell. When characters don't act naturally in movies, we tend to laugh and critique them. We might turn the movie off, or we might turn it into a comedy, even though it was meant to be very depressing film about moving on in books, we just stop reading. Readers need characters that they can connect Teoh and Visualize. It is important that before you even begin plotting your novel that you develop your characters and as much depth as possible again characters dr Plot Character Development. It's more than just a name in a physical description. It's about discovering who they are and their why. It's time for another exercise, because this course is pre recorded upon enrollment. I sent you re sources via email. If you have access to your email right now, please pause the video and go to that document. If not, you can always do this before starting. The next lesson. This checklist that I sent you via email could be saved your computer or printed out and stored. But like the setting checklist, you will refer to this document. Hopefully throughout the planning process of your novel, I want you to create a document for all of your characters. You may not have the answers to some of these questions for your minor characters, and some things may come to you later, but it's important to explore these ideas before you begin developing your plot. Before you start working on this document, I want to just review the highlights of what you'll see when you open the file. These are all the points you'll find on the list for age. I suggest including birthdays, so that if time lapses in your story, it makes calculating age faster. Also understand that age does not put limitations on your characters abilities. Characters could be mature or immature for their age, and it's your responsibility to break through those assumptions for personality trades. Be sure that you have a variety of characters on your cast, make them unique and stand out from the others. I also don't think that family members have to think or act. The same goals refers to the external goals your character is trying to achieve. By the end of the story, it has to be something tangible, and this will be what drives them without a goal. You don't have a story, so you absolutely cannot skip this one. Characters can have more than one goal, but all goals need closure. So his new writers, I suggest that you stick to one or two. Motivation can be intrinsic and extrinsic. People don't do things for absolutely no reason. And all behaviors have an decedent's, whether they're good or bad ones. Fear is necessary to explore. For your protagonist and antagonised, fear makes character is relatable. All humans possess fear, and even if they can't relate to that fear on a personal level, fear makes a character more human, and it's also a tool to keep them from reaching their goal right away. When it comes to flaws, we often think of the external but internal flaws, those things that set us back. We're stubborn or poor listeners. We put others at risk with our behaviors. Those flaws in her character will take you a lot further. President Tens refers to who they are right now. Backstories, which is the past tense bullet, are wonderful, but do not become so obsessed with backstory that you forget you have a story to tell right here right now. What is their quest today? Interest or talking about their hobbies and their likes? What we enjoy is a significant part of our existence. Who and what we love don't always have to bring us joy and love can motivate a character to do some crazy things. Hope is a desire bigger than your character's identity is how your character sees themselves in the world, how they perceive themselves and want others to perceive them, even if it's not an accurate representation of who they really are. Relationships is deeper than family and love interests. This includes support systems. Your protagonist is going to fall is great, their knees a few times. Who's gonna be there to pick them up when they fall? But also who are their enemies? Enemies, disguises, friends? Language helps with developing your characters voice. Once you get to the dialogue portion of this course, where we grow up, our exposure to text in language or level of education. Who we associate with those all determine how we sound, how we talk to people. And if we have an accent and your characters need that same real nous, someone from the Deep South, we'll talk differently than an expat from London. Your characters need unique voices. Your protagonists needs to hit rock bottom or somewhere close to it at some point. What is their ultimate weakness? And how will they recover? For some people, creating characters is like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, effortless and mesmerizing. If you haven't already had a meltdown in our ugly crime behind your computer. Right now, I want to give you some tips to help you get and stay inspired. In this process, our names carry our legacy, a name meaning can inspire you. I suggest finding a baby named search engine to help with creating names based on their meaning to find a name that will embody your character. One other thing. Do not give characters similar names if their family members that that's understandable, but there's almost no reason to name your protagonist Anne in your antagonised Amy. It causes a lot more confusion than you think. Some of our best characters air loosely influenced by people we've interacted with in our lifetimes, horrible bosses become our best villains are first love becomes inspiration for a protagonist, love interests or maybe an antagonised, depending on how that worked out for you. What I'm getting at is that it's okay to use people you know to influence characters in your story. Plus, you can always deny it later. Something I always highly suggest. If you're struggling, is to conduct a character interview, ask yourself a question and answer it like you're the character. The character checklist you just use would be a perfect starting point intent. It's also a fun way to get to know your character. As you know, every action has a reaction. Every action your character takes will lead the story in the direction it goes in. Think about things your character might do and what might happen if they take that course of action. Next one is my favorite people watching. It's also an easy one. Find a coffee shop, go to your local watering hole wherever there will be. People having conversation, eavesdrop, listen to how people talk to each other. And if you're not inspired, then I don't know what else to tell you. Okay, just kidding. Ah, how about try creating a Pinterest board for your character, fine images that represent them and let those images inspire you. And one last thing. Whatever you write down can be changed. It's OK if you change your mind. It's OK for your characters to change their minds, and it's okay if something isn't quite working out about a character or just naturally develops on its own. As you continue planning or even begin the writing process to recap and Chapter four, you should have learned that characters or people, animals or beings in your story the character development is when you create a character in depth and that characters you failed to develop will ultimately fail your story. But characters you take your time to dig into will reward you with a compelling story. Character development comes before plot development, and you should have begun the process of developing your main and minor characters using the document provided you via email. I also went over the main ideas of each part of character development and taught you ways you can get inspired 6. Plot and Conflict: Chapter five. You don't write about the horrors of war. No, you write about a kid's burnt socks lying in the road. Richard Price. Lesson six. Plot and Conflict. Chapter five Objectives include learning what plot and conflict are, how to begin plotting your first novel and how you can develop conflict at the same time. Plot is the sequence of events in your story. Your plot is a series of causes and effects. Some literary scholars will say that there are only six plot archetypes under which every single story ever written falls under. Please note that I am not a literary scholar, so do not harass the messenger. These archetypes are rags to riches, the quest, voyage and return comedy, tragedy and rebirth. You can look up each individual archetype on your own if you're interested in knowing more about each one. Whether or not this is true is that for you to examine a story is not a story without a plot. And as I'm sure you know, not all plots are good plots. An effective plot is going to be driven by the characters, choices cohesive in the sense that everything comes full circle. There is enough closure at the end to satisfy your readers. It will engage the imagination, allow your reader to visualize, predict in for read between the lines, etcetera, and it will in some way surprise the reader. What I mean by surprises. If a reader can predict every twist and turn and reaction, it makes for a very dull story conflict or the challenges your protagonist has to overcome in order to move the story along and achieve their goals. There are six types of conflict you can write about. Some sources online will say more than six, but I've combined a few because they align so closely. One of the six our internal conflict and the other five or external. The six types of conflict are man versus self, which is the only internal conflict. Man versus man, man versus nature, Man vs society, man versus machine and man versus fate, Supernatural God and the Extraterrestrial. Please take a moment to read over each category for clarification if need be. Also, please do not try to incorporate all six types of conflict into one story. I'm sure it's been done, but that's a lot to take on is a new writer. Whatever conflict you choose to include in your novel know that it all has to be resolved. The conflict you develop must align with your genre. We'll talk more about genre in this course, but for now, just keep in mind that the type of conflict you choose helps to determine what genre you're writing within conflict has to change your character over time. Otherwise, it serves no purpose. It should make your protagonist uncomfortable and forced them to act. One thing to note is that conflict can work together often times when we have an external conflict going on in our life. We're also dealing with something internally at the same time. Yes, conflict can be tragic and life changing, but conflict doesn't always have to be outlandish. Your dramatic. It can be tension mounting in an everyday situation. Just remember that conflict should always raise the stakes and teacher character, something that makes them change. And, of course, conflict should be interesting. Many of the most raved about books follow a similar overarching structure. My advice is this. Understand that their structures in place that have proven the test of time and condition readers, but is your story tell the way you think it needs to be told as we get into drafting the structure for your first novel, I want to remind you that outlines or your friend outlines are time savers and help you to create a solid framework before you begin writing to patch up any holes that exist before you ship set sail. As I told you in a previous lesson, I will be teaching to the three act structure only. Like I said, I think it's the best way to teach. New writers had a structure story, and you've probably already been exposed to the structure in school. So you've already got some experience under your belt with this one. The next eight slides or exercises and breaking down the three acts. Act One is the beginning. Act two is the middle, and Act three is the ending of your story. I will be asking you questions for you to explore. If you check your email for three act structure worksheet, you can fill this in as you go along like all the other checklist. This could be changed and should be edited if things don't make sense or you find a better flow. If you don't like the structure of this document, feel free to use your own. Once you have your documents ready, you can begin. I'll raise overact one. I want you to start by introducing the main character, the initial setting and what defining characteristics you want readers to know about your protagonist. If they don't learn anything else in this opening scene here, you also need to make it clear of their status quo. So what is their place in society? This is what we call the exposition. Here. You're building context for your reader. The next scene is the inciting incident. Your character was living a perfectly normal life in the first scene and then bay on the regular life is interrupted, everything is turned upside down and this will become the catalyst for what is to come. The next scene is the call to action. Here. I want you to think about how your protagonist is going to react to that inciting incident . Then, without stating it, I just want you to brainstorm the tough decisions they will have to make throughout the story. At this point in the story, your character is just being called on their quest and making one major decision, which will shift the story in the direction you needed to go in. Your character can ignore the call at first because they're scared or they aren't taking things seriously, for example, but ignoring the problem has to make things worse. So they're kind of put in a position where they have to take action because otherwise the story stops there. Act two. You need to decide what your protagonists main external goal will be. If you completed the character development exercise, then you already have that written down. You need to decide what is at stake if they don't meet this goal and decide what they're going to do now to solve their problem or to meet their goal. This scene is the start of the rising action. Your protagonist is starting to take control over the situation. Throughout this part of the act, your character will see small glimpses of success. It should be just enough that readers air like, yeah, he or she can do this. This is where you start building the suspense up. Will they or won't they be successful and start adding in some conflict here were the mid point of your story. This is where whatever playing your character had is completely ruined. All hope feels lost, and the stakes are at their highest. You have to decide what that event will be to throw them off course and make it so your protagonist has no choice but to brush themselves off and keep going. Conflict is now snowballing out of control as you add fuel to the fire and you're allowed to throw one last terrible thing in their way. Make sure it's something that feels impossible's overcome. Then you get to introduce a turning point that gives them a fresh outlook on life. Act three is the final battle. There is something standing, your protagonist way to meeting their goal. This part of the story starts. We call the resolution, and the battle is the actual climax, which is intended to be the most exciting moment of the story. This is also your protagonist. Final chance for victory. Now we move on to the falling action or denouncement. You have to bring closure to your reader and put out any fires you've ignited. You decide on the final outcome of that battle Not all stories have happy endings, but it does have to bring closure that satisfies them in some other way. You need to establish how your characters have changed and how their world is different now because of their journey. What is the last thing you want them to read? Excellent work were done plotting your first novel. Congratulations, but don't get too excited because we're not even to the midpoint of this course. Yet, however, this is a huge milestone in your writing process. To recap Plot is the sequence of events that make up your story, and an effective plot will be character driven, cohesive, engaging and surprising. Conflict is embedded in your plot, and it's the Challenger protagonist faces to move the story along and get closer to achieving their goal. Conflict is the key ingredient to your story and could be internal and external. There are six types of conflict issues from and most importantly, you plotted your first novel using the three act structure 7. Theme: Chapter six. The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we're unable to say. A nice Nen Lesson seven theme In this chapter, you understand beam why it's important and how to define it. Theme is the message. Your big idea your story is trying to present the events in your story should have an overarching purpose, and that is your theme. It's a statement of the human condition. Essentially, it's something universal that everyone can connect to on a service level. Theme has never stated in your novel, but it's there in spirit. Theme is your readers take away, so this will usually be a unique conclusion, but something that everyone can kind of agree on. Even though it's not written anywhere in your novel, you need to know what it ISS theme is important because it is the deeper meaning your novel holds. When you have a strong thing your book goes from That was such a good book to Oh my gosh, I can never forget this. I have to tell my friends all about it. I hope they make a movie theme is the truth about the world that you want to reveal. It gives readers a deeper purpose for reading, and hopefully we'll give them a new perspective on life, something they can really think about. Like every other element we've learned so far. Theme should be determined before you begin writing, because it gives you purpose as well. Dividing theme can be tricky for some people, but here are five types of questions you should ask yourself. I'm going to paraphrase each category one. If you're not looking to give your readers something to think about when they close your book for the last time, what do you even writing for? To be passionate about what you're writing? Three Authenticity is important. If you can't relate to the message, you might be ill equipped to teach it. Four. However your characters act on the conflict, you introduces a reflection of the lesson you want to teach. Make sure your characters actions are a reflection of that lesson, and five don't spend weeks trying to decide on a theme. One theme can have 1000 and one interpretations. The point of this lesson is to help you find a lesson for your novel to summarize Famous the message lesson or idea your novel is trying to teach. It has never stated in your writing and the take away your readers gain understanding. Your theme can take your novel to the next level, and it should be a reflection of how you see the world. Theme gives purpose to you as a writer. End to your readers. Do this before you start the writing process, and be sure to reflect on his theme before you settle on one. 8. Point of View: Chapter seven. The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don't have control over your situation, but you have a choice about how you view it. Chris Pine Lesson eight Point of view Chapter seven Objectives are to understand point of view, the points of view you can write from why choosing the right one is so important, and tips for deciding point of view is the filter of which your story is told. There are four types of point of view to choose from. First person, which is told from the perspective of one character, second person would you rarely see in fiction outside of the Choose Your own adventure stories where the narrator speaks directly to you. Third person Limited, where the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of one character but isn't talking through them. And third person ammunition, where the narrator has an all access pass to every character's thoughts and feelings. I'd like to review the pros and cons for each point of view before helping you decide which one to choose. I'm only going to give the strongest point for each, so please take a moment to stop and pause the video to read all the bullets. Let's start with first person. The pro is that your reader gets to build a strong and intimate relationship with your protagonist. The con is that it's an unavoidably biased point of view. This isn't always a bad thing, though. Second person allows readers to actively participate in the story, but the problem is the limitations it puts on the writer Third Person LTD. Provides a lot of insight without all the responsibility that third person on Nisshin gives to writers. But on the con side, it may be harder for readers to connect to the protagonist. And lastly, third personal mission is good because your story is now 100% reliable but challenging because it's a huge responsibility being all knowing. So how do you choose which point of view is right for you? Well, that's really up to your discretion. I wish I had a solid answer for you, but I don't There's no right or wrong, just most effective and least effective ways of telling a story you have to look at. Your comfort zone is a writer toe what depth you want, information revealed and how you want readers to connect to your story. Whatever you choose, you have to commit to something you can consider is how you want the conflict revealed. As in from what perspective will it be the most interesting? Also, think about the reliability of your narrator if you've read the book or seen the movie gone girl. This is a perfect example of an unreliable narrator who told the story in the way they wanted us to learn it, and we found out that they were manipulating us the entire time. How do you want your story to be told? Some final tips and tricks you need to establish point of view right away. Use those keywords saying I, for example, is a dead giveaway that you're writing in first person. If you choose first person, your narrator has to be likeable to some extent so that readers can truly connect to them. Third person on mission is a lot of responsibility, so be sure it's something you're willing to take on as a new writer. And don't be afraid to write the first page from all points of view and get feedback before making a final decision to summarize our learning point of view is the lens your stories told from There are four points of view that we talked about the pros and cons of each. We reviewed how to choose the best point of view for your story as well. 9. Storyline Mobility: Chapter eight. In many cases, when a reader puts a story aside because it got boring, the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost side of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling. Stephen King Lesson nine story Mobility in this chapter will talk about linear and nonlinear storytelling and how to choose the most effective method to tell your story. Linear storytelling is when your story is told in order from beginning to end. A Leads to B believes to see etcetera otherwise known as chronological order. Nonlinear storytelling allows your story to be told in whatever order you choose. This could be done through frame stories, flashbacks and memory sequences. So chronological order is good because it's simple and leaves less room for error. It's challenges are that you have to stay in one place in time. Characters can reminisce, but that's about it. Probably the most notable frame story in film is Forrest Gump. The opening scene is a set up for an ah ha moment. Later on, it's a story comes back full circle. The nice thing is that typically, after the frame story is set up you begin writing in chronological order again. This gives readers of reason to finish your book because they want to see how the story all ties together. Be aware that frame stories could be confusing. If you don't introduce it correctly and frame stories, lock you into a contract, meaning you have to have to have to come back to where the story began. Flashbacks have no hard and fast rule. It gives you flexibility and revealing information to your readers and is a good way for readers to ask themselves questions and become or invested in your story. Just know flashbacks were on the risk of being overdone and can be confusing if you don't use them wisely. If a flashback raises a question than it has to be answered, and if a flashback isn't being used to reveal important information, but then you shouldn't be using a flashback. Alright, so in short, we learned about linear and nonlinear storytelling and the benefits and challenges of using them both 10. Andddd Scene!: Chapter nine. Unless the storyline carries the scenes, the scenes don't really mean anything. George Cougar, Lesson 10 and seen in this chapter will talk about seen and seen structure and how to effectively structure your scenes. Scenes are the building blocks of your story. Seen structure is how you arrange those blocks. Effectively ordered scenes are seamlessly intertwined. Every scene has to have a character acting and reacting, and every scene should be credible of the end goal of your protagonist in mind. Be necessary and telling the story and well paced. Every scene you ever write has toe. Have these five elements one a setting to an action that occurs. Three. A goal in mind for a change that happens. Five. Theme and premises present. If you miss one, you run the risk of that entire scene being useless. Each scene needs to progress the story line. It needs to serve a purpose for readers to continue, and their senses need to be evoked. Along with these five elements, here are five steps you can take to effectively structure your scenes. First, decide where you're seeing will be set and how you will introduced and describe it to readers. Second, decide what actions were going to take place and what kinds of actions they will be. Third, decide how your protagonist will continue to actively pursue their goal before your readers eyes. If you forget the goal or your character forgets the goal for even one scene, you run the risk of your reader also forgetting, which removes a huge purpose for them to continue reading. Fourth, you need to decide what change you can bring to the plot. And fifth, you must decide how the scene contributes to the overall lesson of your story. Review this checklist after every scene, and I can assure you it will be a huge help in deciding if a scene should stay or go A few extra tips. Point of view doesn't change within scenes. Great scenes have perfect timing. Think about the timing of a good joke. Be sure seen, changes air clear to readers and that each scene serves a purpose and gives your readers something, whether it's a feeling, a lesson or important information about the story. In this chapter, we discussed seen structure being the arrangement of your scenes and the five elements that make up an effective scene. We talked about the purpose of an effective scene and questions you can ask yourself to decide if you're seen as valuable enough to include in your final draft. Scenes need to be well timed and paste and progress The story. 11. Defining Genre: Chapter 10. We do things differently. You don't have to worry about being part of a particular genre. You just go for it. Tyler Joseph Lesson 11 Defining genre in this chapter will explore genre The importance of choosing the right genre and how you can do so for your first novel. Genre is a category of writing and how writing is organized. There are five main types of writing, but for this course we will focus on fiction. There are countless genres and sub genre within fiction. Please take the time to research genres and sub genres on your own, as I'm only reviewing the purpose of genre in this course. And now you can start making those big decisions for your writing. Genre is important for four big reasons. Marketing potential readers, booksellers and you. When determining the genre for your novel, my advice is to be sure what that is before you even begin writing. Each genre has its own expectations as well as limitations. For example, aliens they're not going to take over the world and realistic fiction. What elements is your novel going to include? This will help you with narrowing down your genre, considering who you want to see your books will a swell young adult fiction and erotic are going to contain very different things, and we need to write for that particular audience. If you're not sure what things are expected of you, is a writer within a certain genre. Look it up. Ask some beta readers, read reviews online, read books that are in that genre and see what they all have in common. Ah, book with a poorly labeled genres misleading. So please do your research a couple of things to bring you peace of mind with genre Genre is not intended to be a rigid mold. Think of it like a boundary or guideline. Also note that some books fall under two genres or a specific sub genre. There are too many to list here. So do a quick Google search that can give you all the genres and sub genres out there. Don't get caught up trying to make a book fit into a genre, either. We've already discussed the purpose, so just try to understand why that's important. Creating a genre checklist based on components of that genre is a good idea unless you discover what your reader will be expecting when picking up your novel, and my final thoughts on Jonah is to choose one you're passionate about. Some writers air naturally good at writing within multiple genres toe what's popular at the time. But as new writers, we should be writing from an authentic and heartfelt place as we work to develop our craft . Recap Genre is a category of writing and how we classify our writing. It's important from a marketing standpoint for your readers, for bookstores and sellers and for you decide genre during the planning process of your novel. And remember, consider who you want your audience to be. Do your research on your readers expectations within a particular genre if you aren't the most familiar with that category of writing and be sure that you meet those expectations. Lastly, we noted that books can embody more than one genre 12. Starting Line: Chapter 11 you can fix anything but a blank page. Nora Roberts Lesson 12. Starting line. The objective for this chapter is to understand ways you can capture your audience from the first line of your novel. We know how important first impressions are, and the first sentence of your novel is the first impression your readers get of you and your story. It's essential that you understand the importance of this first sentence and capture your reader's attention from the beginning. Here I'll be talking about the seven methods you can use to engage readers in the first line of your novel. First up, there's the taste test, where you hinted something big that's going to happen or already did. But the reader just doesn't know the details about just yet. The problem, which is where you immediately share an issue that needs resolving. Then there is the character. This method is reserved for the first or second person point of view, where your narrator makes their mark with their distinct voice. Next is the question where you pose an enticing question for your reader to want answered, Settling in, which is describing a very interesting setting. The characters want to see more off. Next is emotions where you establish a toner mood that your readers air drawn to and finally, shock treatment where you say a reveal something. So while the readers must continue, I know this was a short lesson, but in it we reviewed the importance of first impressions and seven methods you can use to engage readers from the start of your story. 13. Show, Not Tell: Chapter 12. Don't tell me the moon is shining. Show me the glint of light on broken glass. Anton Chekhov less than 13 show Not tell. This chapter will explain what it means to show, not tell and ways you can liven up your writing. Most of us already know what descriptive writing is and have practice doing that in grade school. Descriptive writing captures meaning and feeling and evokes the senses of your readers. Descriptive writing is not something we all have in our writer's toolbox, but the good news is it's something that we can all improve on and should be improving on each time we right. It's our job is writers to stimulate the five senses with their words. Descriptive writing can be figurative or literal, and we'll talk more about the difference in a minute. Descriptive writing can also be overdone, so just be sure that is. You begin writing that you understand that your words mean everything to your reader. And if it doesn't serve a purpose or you're just using too many words to fill space, that it takes away from the meaning and makes your writing murky. Let's discuss literal and figurative language literal languages, writing exactly what you're trying to express. Majority of your novel is going to be written in literal language. Figurative language is writing. That implies something. Those gonna be comparisons, exaggerations, awarding human qualities to inanimate objects. We call those similes metaphors, hyperbole and personification. Please be sure to stop and review this slide. If you are unfamiliar with the four, you can use figurative language to bring new meaning to your writing or to dress it up. Not everything calls for figurative language, but it's the Sprinkles on your writing. Wake up your readers. Five senses Good reading is going to apply to all, not at the same time. But hitting those sensory details is what keeps your readers grounded in the story. We're here to help readers visualize the world we create and how are characters. Move within it. But we're not here to paint every little detail. Readers need room to use their own imagination. Talk about the things that matter to the scene through quality language. For the next two slides were going to go into detail about each of the senses. Please pause the video to read the details. I'm only going to give the main points for each sense are unique to setting a bakery is going to smell a whole lot different than a plant nursery and only describe sends that are important to grounding readers in a setting sound. And sometimes the absence of sound are around us at all times on Lee notes sounds that are important to building context in the scene when it comes to taste. Obviously, readers air not looking the pages of your book, but his writers. If your characters taste something important to a scene, your readers should know about it. Remember that touch is not exclusive to what is felt by your fingertips, and touch brings up different types of emotions as well. Site is the most common sense you'll write about, and site is just the perspective of your narrator. What did they see through their own eyes Now? I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the six cents. And no, I'm not talking about seeing dead people. Our intuition is sometimes refer to as our six cents. And just like we trust our gut, this sense can be a powerful way to foreshadow, create suspense or motivate your characters. It's all in the details. Descriptive writing sets the tone. It isn't just a bunch of flowery writing. Descriptive writing should breathe life into your characters and give your readers and experience here. I've given an example of static writing the type of writing you want to stay away from, all the way up to descriptive writing. I know that these sentences are examples of literal language. Take a moment to read about Lauren and decide which of these gives you a better visual and experience in summary, descriptive writing should capture meaning, feeling and appeal to the senses. We discussed the difference between literal and figurative language, and I outlined how to appeal to all senses. 14. Dialogue: Chapter 13. Which of us has not felt that the character we're reading in the printed page is more real than the person standing beside us? Cornelia Funk. Less than 14 dialogue In this chapter, we will be learning what effective dialogue looks like. Ways that you can make your character's dialogue more effective and the difference between thoughts vs dialogue. Effective dialogue is a conversation between your characters that is revealing, purposeful and helps move this story along. Dialogue has two functions. To reveal something and to help advance the plot. Compression is a word I like to use when teaching about dialogue. Say more by saying less. If you're not cutting dialogue in your second draft, there's a good chance that you don't understand the goal of good dialogue, which is to get the point across quickly. No one was to read pages and pages of dialogue. Effective dialogue will feel riel, be authentic to your character in their actions. Set the tone of the scene, reveals something or advance the plot. Like I mentioned before, help readers to understand something, or to connect to this story better and be consistent as faras point of view with dialogue your readers should always know who's speaking, and dialogue is not going to mimic everyday speech. If you record a conversation between you and a friend and try to transcribe that you have a very quick and clear understanding as to why a dialogue should not look or sound the same, achieving effective dialogue will get better over time. Over the next three slides, I'll be reviewing ways that you can improve your writing dialogue skills. The more you write dialogue, the better you'll get at it. Study and practice. Study other writers. Dialogue. Do your research and take notes about what went well. And even what could be better. No, your characters. When you know your characters, the better. You'll know what they sound like. Each character should have a unique voice based on who they are. When a character embodies a unique voice, your readers can easily identify who is talking. Perform your dialogue. Reading your dialogue out loud. Recording yourself for having a table read is a good way to hear if your dialogue is conveying the emotions you want readers to feel. It's also a good time to ask yourself if your dialogue is serving its function, so you know what can be cut or improved on? Vary your sentence structure. Sentence structure is almost as important as what your character's air saying. Sentence will makes a difference. No one wants to read long monologues and varying sentence structure gives a good pace to your story. Allow for implications. Not all dialogue is going to be literal, and not all characters are going to say what's on their mind. Just like you allow readers to visualize some things on their own. You can allow readers to read between the lines just like we do when we're in regular conversation. Another huge mistake new writers make is that they clarify things that people in the story already know in an effort to help the readers feel filled in making it an awkward exchange of words for your characters. For example, of everyone in a scene already knows that someone has passed away. You don't need to use dialogue to reveal that to your reader. Find some other way, interject when you can. In normal conversation, we're constantly interrupting, interjecting and actively engaged interjections. Make conversation more fluent, inauthentic, allow for pauses in the same way. Allow characters to pause to catch their breath and think, Sometimes we're in a loss for words or take a moment to respond. This is a great way to convey mood, too. Make it purposeful. We've discussed the dialogue should serve a purpose, but I think it's important to mention again that characters shouldn't just talk to be talking or to help you meet your word count. You should always be asking yourself if this line of dialogue helps to develop the story or a character. Does it set the tone or mood of the scene appropriately? And is the information it's revealing, necessary or best revealed this way? Add action in between as we talk. We're usually also doing something in between dialogue. Not all the time. Add in some action. What are your characters doing as they converse? Are they stuffing things into a bag? Are they touching each other? Are they pacing back and forth? Think about it. Be easy on the directives, he said. She said again, we should know who's talking just by their voice. Avoid repetition of information. If you're already opening a scene by describing the studying, for example, your character doesn't need to repeat the same things. If you want to reveal details about the setting, decide, should my character do it through their dialogue? Or should my narrator cut out filler words? Unless the characters unique voices that they always saying, Um or like when they talk, take it out, allow for subtext? Sometimes characters are going to say the opposite of what they mean or beat around the bush. Let it happen. And finally, don't think that all questions that are posed in dialogue have to be answered. Characters are allowed to avoid telling the truth, and sometimes a conversation is interrupted. I just wanted to leave you with a few tips to continue to improve your dialogue, writing one way I've got to study dialogue in my Masters program was reading the transcripts for films as I watched them. You can do this without the transcript to, but it's a good way to see what works while on why. So you can take notes in real time. Don't limit yourself to films who have a 90% or higher rating on rotten tomatoes. Either Also watch films by new writers where they didn't get high ratings to see if dialogue may have played a role. Sometimes we'll have characters that are not very educated or who have a distinct dialect. It's good to give them a unique voice that reflects their level of education where they're from. But please make sure that readers can decipher what they're saying. If you do a table read, I suggest being a good listener instead of a readers that you can take notes and actively make adjustments. If something doesn't sound authentic after you're done, writing dialogue analyzes sentence structure. It's easier if you print a copy so you can mark the lines and see if your sentences vary in length and have a nice flow. Last one's after writing a scene, Ask yourself, Does this dialogue zone natural? And is it necessary? It's a good idea to analyze your dialogue from a reader's perspective as well. Good readers air naturally asking themselves questions, and it's important that if questions need answers that you bring closure to those questions later on. And if it's something you're wondering and there's no clear reason or understanding for that, you clarify that for readers, not all scenes need to start with characters greeting each other. Most pleasantries served no purpose at all. Another great way to edit dialogue is to act it out. What are you doing is you talk and use those observations to help break up your dialogue. Lastly, something new writers love to do is add in adverbs to describe how someone says something. If I don't know, your character is angry within their dialogue than it's not functional. If the dialogue does convey anger than saying, a character said that angrily is just repetitious. Thoughts and dialogue are two different things. Depending on the point of view of your narrator, we can know the thoughts of one character or for every single character. Dialogue is set off with quotation marks, which helps us easily identify the difference when we read. Depending on who is narrating, thoughts will look different. Many writers use italics to make it clear, but however you represent your thoughts, you have to be consistent. Remember the thoughts of the inter workings of your narrators mind, and what is in their mind may not always be what they say. Thoughts like dialogue should only be included if it's the best way to reveal information to the reader, and thoughts are also going to be a reflection of how your character reacts in a situation . If someone is feeling paranoid, then they're going to have paranoid physical responses as well. All right, we've talked a lot about dialogue, So just a recap. Effective dialogue is revealing, purposeful and moves the story forward. Dialogue needs to get the point across quickly, clearly an authentically. We learned many ways you can write effective dialogue and different tips for improving your writing. We also reviewed how thoughts are different than dialogue. 15. Voice, Style, Tone: Chapter 14. The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature to those who really like to study people is that infection The author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself. Eleanor Roosevelt. Less than 15 Voice style and tone Chapter fourteen's objectives are to understand the difference between voice style and tone. Why they are important, debunking the most common myths and learning the best practices for all three. Let's start with what makes voice style and tone the same. All three reflect the attitude of you. The writer. Many people makes up voice style and tone, but voices how your readers perceive your writing. It is your unique sound is a writer and something who developed. The more that you write voices, your personality, rhythm and vocabulary style is what you're writing looks like on page and tone is the mood of your writing tone is the only thing that really changes from scene to scene, and it sets the atmosphere. Boy style and tone all work together, and each has their own important function voices who you are as a writer. In written form. It doesn't have to be your real voice when you talk to friends and family. But it should be how you want to be perceived in the writing world. Style is your other branding and should be unique to you. Take a few novels and compare what the pages look like for Chapter one. What form did they use? Are their little adornments at the top? Or bottom of the page is, Do they have chapter names? Tone is important because it controls your audiences. Emotions are words should make readers feel something, and tone must change that readers can be taken on an emotional roller coaster. Life's journey has its highs and lows, and your character's journey should have the same changes in emotion. Let's review some common misconceptions here. The things that I want you to know voice, style and tone work together but are not the same thing You develop, your voice is a writer, and it should be an authentic part of you. It's also something that will grow as you grow as a writer in your novel. Tone changes. Voice does not many writers style stays the same in all of their books, but if you're writing within romance and horror than your style hopefully doesn't look the same. Style should stay the same, however, in a series best practices we discussed, the voices developed, and the best way to develop in your craft is to practice it daily. Writing is an excellent way for your voice to shine through. Style is best developed through consistency. Decide what you want readers to see him commit to. That style and tone comes with being intentional. Always be thinking about what you want your readers to feel, and I suggest keeping up the source nearby. Let's review voices. How you sound is a writer. Style is how your writing looks and tone is how you're writing feels your writer brand is important, and tone is your control switch. We cover common misconceptions and best practices to help you improve your writing as well . 16. Master of the Page Turner: Chapter 15. No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader, no surprise and the writer No surprise in the reader Robert Frost. Lesson 16 Master of the Page Turner are less than objective is to learn how to write scenes that will keep readers turning the page a page. Turner is a novel that is well structured, paste and executed. Any well developed plot can be transformed into a page turner. It's all about how you write it in this lesson. I'm going to give you 20 ways. You can turn your novel into what we call a page turner. These air choices you can make throughout your novel to help readers B'more inclined to turn the Page one by creating curiosity from the beginning, readers will find your story interesting enough to continue exploring. There will be questions they have in mind until you reveal the answer to in the beginning of your story. Your characters are merely strangers to your readers. You have to build a relationship before you build the conflicts of readers. Actually, care of your characters come out on the other side. Okay, three. Continue to complicate your character's journey by feeding the beast. Four. Wait until the very last possible moment to reveal the answers to the most important questions so that readers air constantly trying to solve and predict five teas readers by foreshadowing six introduced new layers by creating more questions to lead readers. Toe Wonder throughout the story about what is to come. Seven. Pace your novel in a way that feels control, purposeful and intentional. Calculate your turns and be sure that action is always moving your story forward. Eight. Create a sense that your characters air, never really in the clear. Once that called action starts bring peril into their lives, which can be physical or emotional so that readers care about their well being. Nine Cliffhangers are an easy way to encourage readers to turn the page to see what happens next. They work well, the end of chapters and function and so many interesting ways. 10. Change the direction of the story to keep readers on their toes as soon as they think they've got it figured out. Change directions. 11. Paid close attention to pace sentence and chapter link. It's about quality over quantity. 12. He'd been mind that page turners don't need chaos and drama around every corner give readers a chance to catch their breath on this wild ride. 13. A fund technique is to ruin. Your story reveals something huge of the beginnings. The readers wonder how you got there. 14. Don't be afraid to toy with your readers emotions and surprise them by what your character's Dio 15 raised the stakes. 16. Fresh settings can bring exciting new visuals. 17. Leverage your characters. Their natural ambivalence will propel your story. 18. Use fear to put your reader at the edge of their seat. 19. Remove anything from your scene that does not reveal change, complicate, advance, raise, plant or foreshadow anything and 20 at the exposition hit readers hard with the information they've so desperately been waiting for. To recap a Page Turner is a novel that is well structured, paste and executed. We also discussed 20 ways to write a Page Turner, which started with creating curiosity from the beginning and ended with ripping off the Band Aid in the exposition 17. Finding the Story Within You: Chapter 16 stories have to be told where they die and when they die. We can't remember who we are or why we're here. Sue Monk Kidd. The Secret Life of Bees Lesson 17. Finding the story within you In this chapter, we will gain an understanding of how to cultivate the story within you. It's all about turning the ordinary into the extraordinary story. Fabric is all around us. It's our job to recognize it when we observe our surroundings and make connections to the things that we encounter on a daily basis and write about what we know describe places we've been to disguise our personal truths or incorporate real emotions into our writing. That's when things get extraordinary. Staying inspired and discovering your next story isn't always as easy as it sounds. I'd like to provide you with some strategies to help you when you feel like you have nothing to write about. Be inspired starts with believing in yourself. You were the only person that can tell a story the way that you tell it, and the best stories come from our own experiences. Take some time to explore your beliefs and lens on the world what lessons do you have to offer and how could you create a story around them? Sometimes his new writers were afraid to show people with things that we've gone through. But don't think that your personal experience have to be anything more than a springboard or inspiration to write from a real place. Think about some of the major turning points in your life and how they've changed. You take some time to explore your personal network. Our relationships come in all different forms. But the great part is that even the difficult relationships could be used to help us build authentic characters. Relationships can drive conflict in your story and help you create characters and plot ideas. Reach into your memory and explore your senses. Sometimes they can bring up old emotions that are worth writing about. Explore milestones you worked really hard to achieve. Everyone loves a story of triumph. Sometimes our trauma can be transformed into a novel to remember. Loss is often associated with death, but lost could be many things and can be a relatable springboard for your writing. Think about your fears and how you can connect to readers through this universal emotion. Sometimes the things were most insecure about can help us to create characters that readers can love and relate. Teoh. And if you've overcome those in securities, you've got a possible story line on your hands. As I've said before in this course story, fabric is all around us. In this day and age, were busy, were hooked to our devices, and sometimes it's harder to just be present in the moment. Keep a journal and write down ideas. You observe an encounter in a perfect world. Where do you see yourself in a few years? Maybe you can write a story about the future you want and the obstacles that might stand in your way. What are some personal setbacks you faced and overcome? Is there a story in that characters should be dynamic? Think about ways you've changed as a person. How does that growth inspire you? Our experiences are unique to us, and those experiences can be story fabric worth sharing. We spend a lot of our lives at work. I know I can't be speaking for myself when I say crazy things have happened on the job. You may love what you do, but what challenges have you overcome that can inspire your next story. Current events, especially newsworthy moments in history, can make for great historical fiction give you a perspective on history you've lived through. If you like young adult fiction, those coming of age experiences air easy for young people to relate. Teoh, our childhood is our backstory and have made us who we are today. Dive into those memories and experiences our mental, physical and emotional health can lead us down a rabbit hole of story fabric ideas across many genres that could help bring life to character is worth investing in if you enjoy traveling as much as I dio used these opportunities away from home to find new setting inspiration and to experience things that may inspire your next novel. We've talked about how great writers turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, so don't think there's not an opportunity in your daily life that could inspire your next big idea. Our culture has a huge influence on how we're raised and things we've experienced share your cultural experiences if you can. Our spirituality guides our steps and impacts our worldview, and it could be the basis for a premise worth writing to people love to laugh in any genre , find the humor in your daily life. Birth and death can come with a large range of emotions worth writing about. Keep a daily journal to keep track of story fabric you come across. You never know when you might use it. And for avid dreamers, a dream journal is an excellent way to keep track of all those ideas in summary story fabric is all around us and comes from our experiences and observations. I also gave you plenty of ideas for cultivating the story within you, starting with believing that you have a story to tell. 18. Overcoming the Block: find out the reason that commands you to write. See whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart. Confess to yourself that you'd rather die if you were forbidden to write. Rainer Maria Roque Lesson 20. Overcoming the Block The objectives for this chapter are to gain an understanding of what writer's block is the symptoms, how to identify it. Ways to cope and the keys to conquering writer's block is a feeling that comes over us, making us feel like we're unable to write. If your passion about writing it may feel like a sickness that you can't shake. If writing is just a hobby for you, then it may make you feel like writing just isn't for you. And no matter your level of adoration for words, Writer's block is almost a rite of passage. Here are some common telltale signs that you may be experiencing Writer's block. Do you feel unable to write? Does your mind feel foggy? Are you frustrated or uninspired? Are you mulling over the same words? If you're experiencing any of the things on this list, just know that you're not alone. Every writer will experience writers, walk at some point in their writing journey. It is completely normal, treatable and easy to keep it bay once you know the keys to conquering it writer's block and derived from a number of sources. Writers Walk Is Justus flexible ism clocking a drain? You have to figure out what's clocking your creative pipeline by taking a good look at yourself. Let's see which of these you identify with the most. I realize that this list here is very extensive, but if at any time on your journey you feel like you might have writers law, it's important that we cover all of our bases so you could figure out what might be clogging your creative pipeline. Take a moment to pause the video to read through all of these points. See which you identify with most and then continue on. Once you've identified the source of your suffering, you've done the hardest part. You've uncovered the boulder standing in between you and getting back on track with your writing. So here's a list of ways that you can cope with the writer's block. Start by asking yourself, Is this project worth it to you skip around in your writing take a break. If you need help, ask for it. Sometimes the remedy is just being alone. Brainstorm some ideas. Remember what inspired you in the first place? Create a plan for execution. Surround yourself with positivity. Stop overthinking things. Just breathe. There's a solution for every cause of writer's block. Here are my keys to conquering. Sometimes his writers were afraid to be vulnerable during the process. But asking for feedback and ideas is okay. When I say lower your expectations, I just mean not to compare yourself with anyone else. It can take a toll on you. Passion is key, and if you're not feeling it, let it go is good for writers to have goals. And sometimes planning with the end goal in mind helps make things seem more manageable. Create an outline. Take care of you. First, turn your pain into story fabric and write things down. Sign up for challenges to keep you on your toes. If you can, it's okay to reward yourself every once in a while, find yourself an accountability partner. Educate yourself, rid yourself of all the negative energy and ideas in your life. Find people who encourage your journey. Expose yourself to things that keep you inspired. Trust yourself and the process. Don't be afraid to trash ideas. Take breaks, being observer or even socialized. Find places that inspire you. Get away for a bit. Take breaks. Deal with your stress, anxiety and outside conditions. Stop trying to be perfect. Look for change in your personal life. Remove distractions and find things that relax. You create a writing border, a Pinterest page to add inspirational images and ideas to. Sometimes you just have to sit down and force yourself to rate. Read books. Do research. Rest relax. Gives something a try. Here's some additional ways to find your inspiration. You've come this far as a writer, and you can't allow anything to hold you back here. Things that I've done in other seasoned writers can attest to doing when they feel unable to produce. Take a moment to pause the videos that you can read over this extensive list. I know this lesson contained a lot of information, but hopefully you've taken some time to really digest it all. This chapter was all about writer's block being the inability to write signs that you may be suffering possible sources for your struggle, things you can implement to help you overcome this block and ways you confined your inspiration again 19. The P.C.C.S.E.L.F Approach: chapter, given the choice between trivial material, brilliantly told versus profound material, Badly told an audience will always choose the trivial told brilliantly, Robert McKee less than 18. The PCC self approach. In this chapter, we will gain an understanding of what the PCC self approaches and how to use this approach for your writing. PCC Self is a friendly reminder that you're finished Novel should be an authentic, thought provoking focus piece of writing. Unlike anything on the market that readers can connect to and engage with that exudes your own sense of style. I created this approach to give writers a simple acronym to remember what they're finished . Novel should be like Good writers are easy to come by. Great writers are hard to find. Which one do you want to be? PCC Self is an acronym that stands for provoking creative, connecting, stylish, engaging, logical and focused. Your final novel should give readers the room to think for themselves a unique experience where they can think outside the box, something that is relatable and helps them feel something. An individual way of writing that's unique to you, a novel that interests and excites readers with an unpredictable ending worth investing in a story line that is believable no matter how fabricated your story line is. And a novel that resolves conflict by tying up all loose ends and stays on track from start to finish to recap Chapter 17 The PCC self approaches an acronym that I created to remind writers what their novel should be, and the acronym stands for provoking, creative, connecting, stylish, engaging, logical and focused. 20. First Drafts: Chapter 19. The scariest moment is always just before you start. Stephen King Lesson 21 First drafts And now the moment we've all been waiting for accused rebel, it's time to start your first draft. We made it to the end, and I am so proud of you. Educating yourself is the first step to mastering a new skill. By now, you have all the tools you need to start writing your first draft. I encourage you to revisit the course, go back and take some more notes and implement all that you have learned here at this time . If you feel confident in your ability to start writing, you can end this video here if you wish. If you feel like you could use just a little more help guidance advice, I'm offering special incentives to all of my students. 21. Conclusion: I just wanted to remind you all that I am a ghost writer, a freelance creative writer and a published author. Please reach out. If you're interested in any of the following services, please feel free to email me for links to my services. Or, if you need to contact me privately at novel writing for beginners at gmail dot com. For general questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section and official contracts are available for all services. Upon request. This will conclude novel Writing for Beginners How to Write Your First Draft. It has been a pleasure teaching you in this course, and I hope all of the content was useful and informative. I would love to hear your feedback regarding this course so that I can improve the content and overall experience for future learners. Please email me your thoughts and personal testimonies at novel writing for beginners at gmail dot com, I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your time and dedication to the writing process and with love, I say happy writing