How to Write a Novel— Part 1: Week 1, "Why Should I Outline?" | UBCx on edX | Course Video
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Sample video lesson: From "Why Should I Outline?", Week 1
The instructors review some common questions, worries and misconceptions about outlining.
About this course
Have you always wanted to write a novel? Have you started a novel only to run out of steam halfway through? Led by international best-selling authors and professors from The University of British Columbia's world-renowned Creative Writing MFA program, this is the first in a series of courses designed to take your novel from concept to completion.
Outlining is a crucial step in the novel writing process, one that fuels creativity and prepares the writer to stay on track and avoid common pitfalls. Through hands-on weekly exercises with a focus on craft and process, as well as insights from the real-world practices of accomplished authors, this course explores the core elements of fiction writing necessary to build an outline. You will learn the fundamentals of character development, world-building and the basics of storytelling architecture. You'll work intensively on your own creative project and hone your outline through feedback and discussion with fellow writers.
In the tradition of the UBC MFA program, this course draws on the work habits of established authors to help writers move quickly toward creating a blueprint for a successful draft. Whether you're seeking literary fame or working on a project to share with family and friends, this course offers the tools and skills necessary to plan a novel others will be excited to read.
The course is recommended for professional and aspiring writers, writing groups, participants in NaNoWriMo, teachers and anyone who has ever dreamed of writing a novel.
Do I need to have started a novel to take this course?
No. However, you should have one or more novel ideas that you wish to work on during this course. We will ask you to start developing your idea right away.
What if I'm in the middle of a novel?
If you have already started a novel, or are having issues with a partially finished manuscript without an outline, this course can help you clarify your intentions and work out structural issues. We believe the process of outlining helps writers understand a work in progress in a way that simply âwriting through' cannot.
Is this course related to an existing UBC writing class?
This is an entirely new course, created by instructors with years of experience teaching the art of fiction writing to undergraduate and graduate university students as well as members of the community.
What are the other courses in the series?
How to Write a Novel — Part 2: Writing the Draft will provide an essential fiction craft toolbox for writers struggling with the common hurdles of first drafts. How to Write a Novel — Part 3: Edit and Revise, is in the early stages of development. When it is launched, it will be suitable for students who have completed a full draft of their novel.