Start Your Novel In Five Days

Starting out | Fiction
Come with an idea. Leave with the opening pages of your novel – and the inspiration you need to keep going.
For one remarkable week, join acclaimed novelist & renowned writing teacher Kathryn Heyman and her guest, international bestselling author Mark Haddon to give your novel the best possible start. Take part in intensive workshops designed to get you thinking about the main components of any novel – character, setting, voice, plot – and help you dive in to writing. Through a series of structured exercises, reading and discussion, you'll discover how to put everything you've learned into practice. On Wednesday, Mark Haddon, award-winning novelist and author of the worldwide bestseller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will talk about his own processes and approaches, leading you through techniques to find the perfect voice. Then in the afternoons you'll have the opportunity to stay on and use the inspiring surroundings of Faber & Faber's Bloomsbury spaces for dedicated writing time. And to cap it all, on Friday, a top agent will share her views on what makes a great opening and catches a publisher's eye.
17th - 21st June 2019

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Day 1 – Monday 17th June, 2019

10–11.30 – Introductions. Why do I write? What do I want to write?

11.30–11.50am – Break

11.50am–1.30pm – What are my themes?How to get a novel started…

1.30–4pm – Writing time

Day 2

10–11.30 – Character: who is my protagonist? Using memory.

11.30–11.50am – Break

11.50am–1.30pm – Subsidiary characters: who are they?

1.30–4pm – Writing time

Day 3, with Mark Haddon

10–11.30 – Voice and Point of View – who is telling the story, and where are they standing?

11.30–11.50am – Break

11.50am–1.30pm – Place & setting; using memory, research and observation.

1.30–4pm – Writing time

Day 4

10–11.30 – The magic of structure; the crucial questions you need to ask; building the scaffold

11.30–11.50am – Break

11.50am–1.30pm – Honing the voice, beginning to edit

1.30–4pm – Writing time

Day 5

10–11.30 – Re-writing and redrafting

11.30–11.50am – Break

11.50am-1.30pm – Keeping going – motivation and planning

1.30–2.30pm – Lunch (not provided)

2.30-4pm – Eye-catching openings: agent talk & Q&A

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Mark Haddon is the author of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time' and two other novels, 'A Spot of Bother' and 'The Red House.' He has ...


Kathryn Heyman's sixth novel Storm and Grace, a riveting portrait of desire and obsession set in the world of free-diving, was published to wide accla...



Come to one of the world's great literary cities and study creative writing at Faber Academy's home in historic Bloomsbury. Our London courses take place at Faber and Faber's offices.

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