Who This Course Will Help
This course is for everyone who ever thought, “I think I might have a novel inside me.” Understand though: you will not “write a novel” in this course--you will prepare yourself to start (or re-start) one. Think of it as a cooking course in which you spend the first class cleaning the kitchen and prepping the ingredients. Think of it as a marathon-running course in which you spend the first class buying a good pair of shoes. Your chances of drafting an entire novel (maybe for your New Year's resolution?) increase exponentially when you spend some time preparing yourself for the journey ahead.
You’ll learn a great deal about your process without having to fret about the quality of your work. You’ll generate a lot of writing about the novel you want to write, get to know your characters, learn to think in terms of scenes not sentences, and make some crucial early decisions about point of view and structure that will save you a lot of time down the road.
At the end of the course, you’ll be ready and excited and poised to start writing your novel.
What This Course Specifically Teaches
- intense focus on the writing process and on developing a writing regimen
- writing assignments which will help you gather material, develop your plot, and get to know your characters
- practice creating an outline or storyboard of your book
- analysis of a novel that will serve as a model
The course is broken down into four big-picture units, further described below. Each unit offers a series of mini-lessons (about 5 to 10 minutes each) that build on each other. It will take you about four full hours to go through all of the instruction. You can pause to write when inspired and review the material on your own. Lessons are presented as audio-visual lectures that you can watch on any device (video/screencast).
About the Instructor
Cathy Day has been teaching novel writing and mentoring young novelists for over 10 years. Her former students have published books with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Dzanc Books, Braddock Avenue Books, Thought Catalog, and University of Georgia Press. She’s the author of Comeback Season and The Circus in Winter, which was a finalist for the GLCA New Writers Award, the Great Lakes Book Award, and the Story Prize.
Her stories and essays have appeared most recently in Lit Hub, PANK, Sports Illustrated, The Millions, North American Review, Ninth Letter and elsewhere. She’s currently working on a new novel about the lives of Linda and Cole Porter. She’s held teaching positions at Minnesota State University-Mankato, The College of New Jersey, and the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, she lives in Muncie, Indiana and teaches at Ball State University.
What the Course Includes
- Four hours of instructional lectures that you can listen to or watch on your own time, at your own convenience
- Weekly assignments for completion at your own pace—designed to help you put what you learn into action.
- Connection and community with others—including me.
"I could write a novel about why you should take this course!" — Abby Schenck Wooldridge,
"Cathy Day's class filled in the missing pieces. I now understand why my novel in progress wasn't working and what I need to do to fix it." — Trudy Buffenbarger,
"Using the skills I learned from Cathy Day, I finished my first novel. And I’ve kept going: reading more, writing more, learning more. Today I’ve reached the point where I’ve completed my second novel and am now querying agents." — Gail Werner, Media Relations Strategist, Ball State University