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Michigan State University

Write Your First Novel

Michigan State University via Coursera



From - The 30 Most Popular Online Courses of 2020
"Write Your First Novel" made the list at #15

If you’ve ever had the dream, the desire or even just a vague notion that you would like to write a novel, this course is for you. Whether you are a full-time student, have a full-time job, a family to take care of or all of the above, you can do it. Really! And I will help you get there.

In this Course, you will write your first novel. Many people say they have often thought about writing a novel and are planning to do it someday, but very few ever actually do. However, in this course, you will do it. You will learn how to form a basic idea, any idea, into a structure and discipline that will allow you to create, write and complete a fully-realized novel ready to submit for publication.

If you have any concerns regarding the protection of your original work, Coursera's privacy policy protects the learner's IP and you are indeed the sole owners of your work.

Here is a link to a trailer for the course. To view the trailer, please copy and paste the link into your browser.

Learner review: "It was a great experience, I really enjoyed it."

In Write Your First Novel, you’ll learn to break down your creative endeavor into components and you’ll discover a process that will allow you to do what few have done: produce and complete a full-length work of fiction in the form of a 50,000-word novel.

Learner Review: "You teach storytelling like no other teacher. I cannot put in words how much I appreciate it. This daily writing, and the product that comes with it, have been a great mental support during the pandemic time. Art is a support for life, as Stephen King said, and thanks to you I experienced it first-hand during this time. I think I will keep writing 500 words per night for the rest of my life. I owe it to you. You taught me how to write a novel, and it works every time. Huge thanks, and wishing you all the best."

I am a proponent of experiential learning (also known as active learning). My lectures are short and to the point, designed in a step-by-step process essential to your success as a writer. I will guide you, I will show you how to get there, hopefully I will inspire you. You will learn through your own activity - which is writing! I firmly believe that the only way to become a writer is to write, write, write!

Learner review: "As a published author, I took this course to relearn the skills. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every lecture and quiz. This course was very, very helpful and the videos were very well executed. Cheers!"

Writing fiction is a truly beautiful thing. Putting your own words on a page to tell a story which enters your readers minds and allows them to share the thoughts, emotions and lives of your characters is a very satisfying, rewarding experience.



  • Week One: Creating the idea for your novel
    • In Week One you will create a concept for your original novel, your own Intellectual Property (IP). You will write up a pitch document, post it and review the pitches of five of your peers. You will also create a Logline and a Dramatic Question for your novel, post those documents, review the work of five of your peers and revise your own work with the feedback you get from your peers
  • Week Two: Create your character profiles and outline Chapter One
    • In Week Two you will create profiles for your major characters and write up an outline for the first chapter of your novel.
  • Week Three: Write Chapter One
    • In Week Three you will begin writing your novel.
  • Week Four: Write Chapter Two
    • In Week Four you will write the second chapter of your novel.
  • Week Five: Write Chapter Three
    • In Week Five you will write the third chapter of your novel.
  • Week Six: Write Chapter Four
    • In Week six you will write the fourth chapter of your novel.
  • Week Seven: Write Chapter Five
    • In Week Seven you will write the fifth chapter of your novel.
  • Week Eight: Write Chapter Six
    • In Week Eight you will write the sixth chapter of your novel.
  • Week Nine: Write Chapter Seven
    • In Week Nine you will write the seventh chapter of your novel.
  • Week Ten: Table Read Chapters One to Seven
    • In Week Ten, you have the week off from writing. This week, you will get together with a few friends and read Act One, the first seven chapters of your novel,
  • Week Eleven: Write Chapter Eight
    • In Week Eleven you will write the eighth chapter of your novel.
  • Week Twelve: Write Chapter Nine
    • In Week Twelve you will write the ninth chapter of your novel.
  • Week Thirteen: Write Chapter Ten
    • In Week Thirteen you will write the tenth chapter of your novel.
  • Week Fourteen: Write Chapter Eleven
    • In Week Fourteen you will write the eleventh chapter of your novel.
  • Week Fifteen: Write Chapter Twelve
    • In Week Fifteen you will write the twelfth chapter of your novel.
  • Week Sixteen: Write Chapter Thirteen
    • In Week Sixteen you will write the thirteenth chapter of your novel.
  • Week Seventeen: Write Chapter Fourteen
    • In Week Seventeen you will write the fourteenth chapter of your novel.
  • Week Eighteen: Table Read Chapters Eight to Fourteen
    • In Week Eighteen, you have another week off from writing. This week, you will again get together with a few friends and read chapters Eight through Fourteen, Act Two of your novel.
  • Week Nineteen: Write Chapter Fifteen
    • In Week Nineteen you will begin the final Act of Your Novel
  • Week Twenty: Write Chapter Sixteen
    • In Week Twenty you will write the sixteenth chapter of your novel.
  • Week Twenty-One: Write Chapter Seventeen
    • In Week Twenty-One you will write the seventeenth chapter of your novel.
  • Week Twenty-Two: Write Chapter Eighteen
    • In Week Twenty-Two you will write the eighteenth chapter of your novel.
  • Week Twenty-Three: Write Chapter Nineteen
    • In Week Twenty-Three you will write the nineteenth chapter of your novel.
  • Week Twenty-Four: Write Chapter Twenty
    • In Week Twenty-Four you will write the final chapter of your novel.
  • Week Twenty-Five: Table Read Chapters Fifteen to Twenty
    • In Week Twenty-Five you will take another week off from writing and table read the final act of your novel.
  • Week Twenty-Six: Submit Your Finished Novel
    • In Week-Twenty Six you will submit your completed, polished novel. You will also write a prologue for your novel and a synopsis to submit to agents.

Taught by

David Wheeler


4.3 rating at Coursera based on 297 ratings

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