Writing a Novel
Ralli Hall, Hove
Mondays 7.15 – 9.00pm
29 January – 18 March 2024
Tutor: Susanna Jones
Fee £195 (course only)
or £250 (including one-to-one, see below)
'One of the things that made this course so enjoyable was Susanna's enthusiasm for us, her students, and our work. She clearly loves teaching - and is brilliant at pin-pointing what a piece of writing is trying to do, as well as suggesting how to do it.
She is entirely undogmatic about how to approach writing. She really listens and gives intelligent but non-prescriptive responses. Every session was thought-provoking and stimulating and really specific about how and what works in fiction.'
Perhaps you're just starting to write a novel, finding ideas for your first draft, or are in the middle of writing your novel now. Perhaps you have a draft that isn't quite there yet and you're not sure why it isn't working or what to do next. Perhaps you've made several attempts to start a novel but have never managed to sustain it. This course is designed to help writers at all these stages.
Some things we'll cover: getting started (or finding new pathways, if you're already working on your novel); developing ideas and characters; narrative voice and point of view; sense of place and atmosphere; storyline and shape. There will be plenty of time to share your work for feedback and discussion (but no pressure to read aloud if you prefer not to) and to see your work develop week by week. You'll receive detailed feedback from Susanna along with suggestions and ideas for development. If you have to miss a session, you can catch up with the activities and writing prompts in your own time.
The course includes the option of 45-minute one-to-one tutorial, via Zoom (or phone if you prefer) to discuss your work. You can submit an extract of your novel in progress and/or a plan in advance for close editorial feedback. You'll receive follow-up notes with line-by-line comments and suggestions as well as notes on structure and storyline. The meeting can be arranged for a date during the course or up to 3 months after the end of the course. The price of this separately would normally be £100–150.
This is a mixed-level course. It will help to have some experience of writing fiction but, if you're not sure whether this is the right course for you, do get in touch to discuss.
Most participants from the Writing a Novel course have gone on to join the MA-style Advanced Fiction Workshop so that they can continue to develop their novels in a supportive environment with regular constructive feedback.
Susanna Jones has many years' experience teaching and mentoring novelists, from complete beginners to writers at MA and PhD level. For many years, she was the main fiction tutor on the MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway University of London. She'll help you find new ways into your material, ways of developing and shaping your fiction while honing your own voice and learning how to use it, or use it better. In a friendly and supportive atmosphere, you'll find that the ideas come easily, your confidence as a writer will grow and you'll have fun in the process.
Ralli Hall is at 81 Denmark Villas, Hove BN3 3TH, just 2 minutes' walk from Hove Station.
'I taught the novel as literature and writing fiction in Universities for over thirty years but putting this experience into practice when writing is much harder. Susanna Jones really knows how to help. She is an accomplished writer who really understands storytelling but also how a novel is structured and built from the blank page. I found her advice and encouragement priceless. Her novel writing courses and workshops are excellent and I recommend them without reservation. I am still writing and learning and I will return.'