Novel Writing II - Finishing and Getting Published

Writing is a dog's life, but the only life worth living.

Gustave Flaubert

NW(II) is for those of you who have completed Novel Writing(I) – The Basics. If you have not completed NW(I), it is an entry requirement that you have started working on a first novel. If you have any questions, contact Marianne

I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.

Steven Wright

NW(II) runs for ten weeks in real time. It's purpose is threefold:

1) to help you hone your writing skills further

2) to help you complete your novel to as near publishable standard as possible

3) to show you all the options available when it comes to getting your novel published.

The first week is the orientation week. You will be invited to introduce yourself to your tutor and colleagues and be asked to submit a one page (250–500 word) summary of your novel and say at what stage you are at in its development. You will discuss with your tutor three key writing goals for the course. You may want to focus on the early chapters, or develop a weak plot strand, or you may want to focus on language, or characterisation, or secondary plotting, or you may want to get as much of your novel written as possible in the time given. This is your course, you do what you can when you can, guided by your tutor throughout.

After the orientation week you will get weekly sets of writing notes. Unlike our other courses, there are no set assignments for NW(II). You will follow the writing goals you set in the orientation week. You can, of course, change your goals at any time (and probably will!) And while it is important to work at your own pace, you will be encouraged to submit new work at regular weekly or two weekly intervals.

After the orientation week, the course is divided into three blocks.


Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realise. Your words are the greatest power you have.

Sonia Choquette

week 1 What makes a successful novel?
week 2 Rewriting
week 3 Conflict


A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his fancy, stirs his heart, and unlimbers his typewriter. I feel no obligation to deal with politics. I do feel a responsibility to society because of going into print: a writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down. Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life.

E. B. White

week 4 The Liar: and the (honest) truth about dishonesty
week 5 Touched with Fire (and the manic depressive artistic temperament or not!)

I think I am starving for publication: I love to get published; it maddens me not to get published. I feel at times like getting every publisher in the world by the scruff of the neck, forcing his jaws open, and cramming the Mss down his throat – "God-damn you, here it is. I will and must be published!" You know what it means, you're a writer and you understand it. It's not just "the satisfaction of being published." Great God! It's the satisfaction of getting it out, or having that, so far as you're concerned, gone through with it! That good or ill, for better or for worse, it's over, done with, finished, out of your life forever and that, come what may, you can at least, as far as this thing is concerned, get the merciful damned easement of oblivion and forgetfulness.

Tom Wolfe

week 6 Legacy Publishing and the submission package: query letter/synopsis/first three chapters
week 7 Indie Publishing or Self Publishing and writing a successful press release
week 8 Your Social Platform: Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+/LinkedIn etc
week 9 Stunts and How to Build a Brand


Edinburgh online school of creative writing