Start Your Novel

The first steps to planning a novel and writing the opening pages.

8 teacher reviews total
3 course reviews total
1 class per week, for 6 weeks

Multi Class Course

60 minutes

Class Duration

8-15 students

Class Size


Per Student

This six-week course will lay down the main building blocks of a novel: planning; character; plotting; point of view; voice; opening lines. During weekly hour-long sessions, we will explore these fundamentals. Then you will be set a writing task. Those who share their work will receive peer feedback and notes on some submissions from me. By the end of the course, you will take the first steps to writing your novel.
Hello, I'm Jo Furniss, author of several suspense novels including the Amazon Charts best-seller All The Little Children, and my most recent release, The Last to Know. I've also contributed short stories to the "Afraid of the Light" crime anthologies. I have an MA in creative writing - which I studied online - and I've tutored on the internet and in person at the Arvon Foundation. In our relaxed and supportive environment, we will explore fictional worlds and embrace the blank page!

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Jo Furniss

Writers Boot Camp: Start Your Novel
8 teacher reviews total

About Me

Hello! I'm a best-selling author of suspense novels and short stories, and a former BBC journalist. I have an MA in creative writing - which I studied entirely online - and I've tutored on the internet, as well as in person at the Arvon Foundation. I help writers start, complete and edit novels. In our relaxed and supportive environment, we will learn to love the blank page!

3 Student reviews

Each Learned.Live teacher is awarded a 4 star review for every one of their courses we have approved, in line with our assessment. This is why some teachers will display more than one 4 star review from Learned.Live if they have had multiple courses rigorously assessed by our team. We would not approve a course application if we did not feel it warranted a default 4 star review. Teacher star ratings are an average of each of their courses star ratings and will become modified as more students review their course(s) over time

April 16th, 1:46pm

I’m so sad this is my last week on this course. It has fulfilled all my hopes in that I feel so many questions about character, dialogue, plot, narrative distance and setting have all been answered. Now I just need to get on and write my book knowing that it doesn’t have to be perfect first time. Totally recommend this course, it is broken down into manageable chunks and the short homework exercises have been great for putting into action what we have learnt each week. Thank you Jo.

February 12th, 12:18pm

Halfway through this six lesson course and we have covered plot, character, dialogue and more. The weekly exercises in writing 300-1000 words are the most challenging homework I have ever had but thoroughly enjoyable. I don't want this course to end. It's a MUST for anyone starting their first novel.

January 27th, 5:22pm
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