Start Your Novel Online Course

We know that committing to a year-long course is not for everyone so we have condensed elements of The Novel Creator course into a 3 module course that you can work through at your own pace to get to grips with your story, world, themes and characters. 

These tutorials will help you to plan your novel, create compelling story lines that have emotional resonance and write memorable characters that your readers connect to.

Course Content

Module 1 – Getting Started: Planning, Plotting and Defining your Novel

The Writer’s Toolkit – Part One / Tutor: CM Taylor

The Writer’s Toolkit – Part Two / Tutor: CM Taylor

The Easy 10-Point Plot / Tutor: Amanda Saint

Discovering Your Characters and World-Building / Tutor: Amanda Saint

Module 2 – Pulling Together Plot, Character, Theme & Structure

Linking Plot With Character & Theme / Tutor: CM Taylor

The 3 Cs of Character/ Tutor: Amanda Saint

Developing Character Personalities / Tutor: Amanda Saint

Character & Plot Building with Themes / Tutor: Amanda Saint

How Location Builds Theme / Tutor: Amanda Saint

Module 3 – Keeping Your Reader Hooked

Reversals of Fortune / Tutor: CM Taylor

Narrative Drive / Tutor: Amanda Saint

The Sticky Protagonist / Tutor: CM Taylor

Hiding, Revealing and Creating Conflict / Tutor: Amanda Saint

Course Tutors



Amanda’s debut novel, As If I Were A River, was longlisted for the Guardian Not The Booker Prize, a NetGalley Top 10 Book of the Month and a Book Magnet Blog Top 20 Book of 2016. Her second novel, Remember Tomorrow, published in March 2019 to critical acclaim. Amanda’s flash fictions have been widely published; longlisted in the Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition, Fish Flash Fiction Prize, and Ink Tears Short Story Prize; shortlisted for the Flash 500; and won the Editor’s Choice Prize at 101 Words. Her collection, Flashes of Colour, is publishing in 2021, and she is now working on her second novella-in-flash. 


Amanda is the founder of, commissioning editor and publisher at the award-winning Retreat West Books (Winner: Most Innovative Publisher 2020 Saboteur Awards), which publishes novels, memoirs and short fiction. She has been designing and teaching online courses, and live workshops, for many years and has worked as an editor on hundreds of manuscripts. She is passionate about helping writers get to the heart of their characters to create memorable narrators that really come alive for the reader.



Craig’s novels Premiership Psycho (Corsair, 2011) and Group of Death (Corsair, 2012) form two-thirds of a satirical trilogy described as ‘Brilliant’ by The Sun, and ‘Horribly entertaining’ by The Mirror. They’ve been optioned for TV by Plan B, with Craig writing the pilot. He’s been nominated for the British Science Fiction book of the year, while his comedy drama Staying On (Duckworth, 2018) has been described as ‘a trademark sweet-and-sour Mike Leigh film in novel form’. He co-wrote the thriller film Writers Retreat which was premiered at the Sitges International Film Festival and he continues to be commissioned to write scripts for TV and film.


Craig works as a freelance editor of fiction for a variety of publishers, and is a Senior Lecturer at the Oxford International Centre for Publishing. He has taught hundreds of creative writers, in one to one development settings, as well as in classes and workshops, including at the Manchester Children’s Book Festival and at the British Library. His particular enthusiasm and passion is for helping writers develop their understanding of the underlying structures of narrative art.

Course Access

You’ll have access to the course materials for 5 months from the date you sign up. It runs on our Community platform so for the 5 months of the course you will also be a member of our community and can attend all live Zoom classes, workshops and feedback sessions, and watch replays of all the ones we’ve held before. We have loads of great content to help you develop all aspects of your fiction writing.

If you are already a member of our community, login to the member website and book through there as is a discounted rate is available to members.

Module 1 of the Start Your Novel Course will be available instantly on sign up, then Module 2 will be released 1 month later, and Module 3 will go live 1 month after that. Drip-feeding the Modules is a cunning plan to make you take your time with each one and really dig deep into the thinking, learning and exercises each one contains! 

Planning is a key element of writing a successful novel and a tight first draft. You can also use these tools to revise an existing draft. 

Course Costs

There are two different options for this course and both are available as pay-in-full or in pay by 3 easy instalments.

Get 20% off in our January sale until 31/12/22!

Work Alone – No Feedback

As the name suggests, you work through the materials by yourself and there’s no feedback available from the tutors!

Work Alone – With Mentoring

You’ll work through the materials by yourself and once you’ve completed the course you’ll have a 1-hour mentoring session (Zoom or phone) with either Amanda Saint or C.M. Taylor to discuss the work you’ll send in to them. This will be your novel plot outline, synopsis, and character profiles. They’ll help you work out any gaps, answer any questions you have and give you tips and resources for writing on through the draft of your novel.