Work-In-Progress | Online

Advanced | Fiction
You are in the thick of the first draft of your novel, but it’s difficult to find the focus and drive to move forward. You need a supportive group of fellow writers to push you on, and a great tutor to make sure you’re on track. Work-In-Progress is for you.

The application deadline for this iteration of the course is midnight on Wednesday 1 April.

This course is selective, so you`ll need to apply. For more information, click here.

The application deadline was
8th April 2020

This intensive online writing course combines the discipline of strict deadlines with a supportive group of fellow novelists and a nurturing tutor who knows how to crack the whip when necessary. It’s ideal for writers with at least 15,000 words of a novel who want to get to the end, or who have a first draft that needs the right environment to become a second. But it's not for the faint-hearted!

How it works:

• Deliver your work to an online forum by a set date each month for focused discussion by your peers

• Critique the work of your writing partners each month and receive peer reviews of your own writing

• Join a live monthly webinar with your tutor

• Receive detailed tutor feedback on your work at least five times a year

• Benefit from your tutor’s close analysis of other participants’s writing

• Enjoy a special focus each month: structure, genre, characters, point of view, dialogue, setting, multiple storylines, story-worlds, etc

• Dedicated private forums and chatrooms to discuss your work in confidence 24/7, all downloadable so you never lose a word

After an introductory first session, your monthly sessions will look something like this:

Day 1: Session opens; your tutor introduces focus of the month and recommended reading, chatroom and discussion forum;

Days 2–15: Hard at work on your work-in-progress, 24/7 discussion and feedback on the forums;

Day 16: Deadline for posting your new 5,000 – 7,000 words to the forum;

Days 16–22:Writers read and critique their peers on new work forum;

Days 23–26: Your tutor posts a close read of three people’s work in terms of this month’s focus. The whole group can read and add comments in the forum.

Day 27: Live webinar with your tutor, and they introduce next month’s focus.

Please note: This course is initially open only to Faber Academy alumni. That does not mean you cannot apply if you’re not an alumnus, but first priority will be given to alumni.

To apply, simply send us a single document containing the following:

1—A covering letter, detailing your writing experience, what creative writing courses you have been on, and what you are looking to get from the course;

2—A synopsis of your novel;

3—The first 5,000 words of your work-in-progress.

Payment will be due in instalments – a deposit of £200 before the course begins, then ten monthly payments of £100, taken automatically from your account on the 2nd of the month, starting in month two of your course. Note: your bank details are encrypted and stored by SagePay; Faber Academy never sees them.

Normal Faber Academy alumni discounts do not apply to this course.

20th April 2020 - 5th April 2021

Availability: In stock

20 Places

Session 1: Tell us your story (Opens Monday 20 April)

In this first session we'll get to know each other's stories so far, with a focus on summing up your novel and getting to know your fellow writers. Why the focus on your novel idea in this session? Because once you've nailed that, you've got something to refer back to in the inevitable dark moments ahead, when you find yourself stuck and asking, 'What is this book about again?' We'll also look at the art of giving good critical feedback.

Session 2: Better description – place (Opens Monday 18 May)

In this session, we'll start the writing proper as you each progress your novel by 5–7,000 words. We'll also uncover the four secrets to sharpening up description in your novel: making it more specific, using the senses, and adding colour and movement.

Session 3: Better description – body language (Opens Monday 15 June)

A look at the importance of non-verbal communication in your novel, and how to write better body language so that your characters do more than raise their eyebrows, nod and smile.

Session 4: Language and rhythm (Opens Monday 13 July)

In this session, we'll look at the effects of language and rhythm on the writing in your novel. In particular, we'll consider vocabulary, sentence and paragraph structure, and how this can be used for effect and to help you change pace.

Session 5: Texture (Opens Monday 10 August – lasts five weeks to include a summer break)

Now we'll move onto focus on the texture of your novel. Specifically, we'll look at the contrast between dialogue and description, and how they can be used to slow down or speed things up. We'll also look at action and the importance of 'doing' sections in the narrative as well.

Session 6: Chapter ends and beginnings (Opens Monday 14 September)

At the halfway point in the course we focus on the best ways to begin and end a chapter. How do you grab a reader at the start of a chapter? And should you leave things on a cliffhanger at the end, or will you work with suspense in more subtle ways?

Session 7: Getting (un)stuck (Opens Monday 12 October)

In an ideal world, writing a novel would run smoothly from one month to the next. In reality, there are times when you might hit a brick wall, find yourself faced with writer's block or perennial problems such as procrastination. In this session, we'll look at tackling some of these issues and ways of keeping the writing fresh. There'll also be your second one-to-one Skype call with your tutor, to take stock of your progress so far.

Session 8: Preventing soggy middles (Opens Monday 9 November)

You’ve got a great beginning for your novel, and you’ve got a great end. But how do you avoid the middle of your book sagging, like a badly made cake? That's the focus of this month's session.

Session 9: Structuring your chapters/sections (Opens Monday 7 December)

A look at how best to divide up your novel material. What is the ideal length of a chapter? What is the effect of making chapters shorter or longer? What are benefits of dividing the material up into wider sections? By now, you should have enough material to be able to experiment.

Session 10: Brilliant ends (Opens Monday 11 January 2021)

What’s the best way to conclude a story? How much resolution satisfies the reader? Can and should Truffaut’s idea of ‘Spectacle and Truth’ be applied to fiction? It might seem counter-intuitive to reach the 'endings' session before the end of the course, but it makes sense to give your novel's ending plenty of thought before you get there.

Session 11: The secret of good editing (Opens Monday 8 February)

This session focuses on the difference a good edit can make to your novel, with lots of tips and practical techniques. We'll take a look, too, at the working relationship of writer Raymond Carver and his editor Gordon Lish.

Session 12: Getting published (Opens Monday 8 March)

Once you've got your final manuscript, what next? In this final session, we'll take a look at the experiences of various writers as they made the jump from writing their script to getting published. This session will also include a final one-on-one Skype chat with your tutor.

Course ends Monday 6 April 2021

Click here for more information +


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