Novel Writing and Publishing
In this 36 week guided and interactive online high school course, students will plan, draft, edit, revise, rewrite, publish, and market their novel. They will also create a video book trailer as part of their marketing plan as well. Please scroll down for more information and examples of student novels.
"Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches... Therefore write the things that you have seen, and the things which are, and the things that will take place after these things." -- Revelation 1:11, 19
Additional Resources required:
- Textbook: The Anatomy of Story, by John Truby
- National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) membership: Free
- Social media account (preferably Facebook) in order to establish author platform and create an audience for the novel prior to publication
So, what's the story?
The idea for this course actually came to me from a book called No Plot? No Problem. This book told of a group of people who could help me get my story out to the world by writing a novel in a month.
You might (mistakenly) think that this is impossible, but the truth is that I know that it is possible because I have done it! Every year during the month of November, hundreds of thousands of people around the world write a novel. It is called National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org.) They define a novel as 50,000 words, which, divided over the 30 days of November, comes out to slightly under 1700 words per day, which, while being a commitment, is far from impossible.
So I thought that, if 100,000 people could do it, why can’t some of them be high schoolers that I am coaching through the process?
Here’s what 100,000 people do not do in a month, or a year, or in many cases, a lifetime: publish their novel. There are all sorts of reasons for this, but few are sufficient.
But you say to me: “Publishing is expensive/difficult/time consuming/exclusive/etc.” That was before self-publishing moved beyond the realm of vanity publishing to become more mainstream. Taking advantage of this shift in the publishing world, as well as the low-cost, highly-targeted marketing methods enabled by social media, puts the author in the driver’s seat for selling their novel (whether they want to, or are trained to, or not.)
So I saw coaching students (with a story) to write it, revise it, publish it, and market it to their generation as a great way to empower them to tell their stories, whatever they may be!
- Written, published novel
- Eight rounds of editing (of different types) completed on others' novels
- Marketing plan for novel
- Video book trailer for novel
- Outlining, crafting, and writing a story
- Understanding of character interactions, and how that would translate to the adult "real world"
- Market analysis on who would be willing to buy their novel
- Ability to edit their own and others' writing for clarity and correctness
- Selling themselves to potential customers
- Convincing strangers to put money towards their ideas/dreams
What careers would this course give me a leg up on?
- Author - Average Salary: $51,086 (https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Writer_%2f_Author/Salary)
- Book editor - Average Salary: $49,580 (https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Editor/Salary)
- Copy editor - Average Salary: $42,633 (https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Copy_Editor/Salary)
- Marketing Specialist - Average Salary: $49,221 (https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Marketing_Specialist/Salary)
- Publishing Manager - Average Salary: $60,478 (https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Publishing_Manager/Salary)
General Syllabus (Subject to change as needed)
- Course Start: 21 August 2023
- Week 1:
- Basic Novel Planning: Genre and Plot "Heartbeats" Development
- Basic Novel Planning: Initial synopsis and world description
- Week 2:
- Character Building: Character Voice Spreadsheet
- Chapter Outline Framework Build, with "Plot Heartbeats" included
- Week 3:
- Plot Building: Actions I; Social Media Platform Build
- Week 4:
- Character building: Cast Voice Chart
- Week 5:
- Plotbuilding: Agenda Chart
- Week 6:
- Setting Similes; Chapter Titles
- Week 7:
- Conflict Chart
- Week 8:
- Character Transformation Chart
- Week 9:
- Actions II; First and last sentences; Journey of Learning Narrative (JOLN) #1
- Week 10:
- Peer Outline Critique
- Week 11:
- Writing first draft: Week 1
- Week 12:
- Writing first draft: Week 2
- Week 13:
- Writing first draft: Week 3
- Week 14: Thanksgiving Week
- Writing first draft: Week 4
- Week 15:
- Writing first draft: Week 5
- Week 16:
- Grammar and Usage Tutorial fixes (extended deadline)
- Identify "Plot Lulls" (extended deadline)
- "Bleeding Manuscript" Creation (extended deadline)
- Matters of Conscience Discussion (relating to Peer Editing)
- LBA #1
- JOLN #2
- Week 17:
- Grammar and Usage Tutorial fixes (continued)
- Identify "Plot Lulls" (continued)
- "Bleeding Manuscript" Creation (continued)
- Christmas Holidays: 18 December 2023 - 7 January 2024
- Week 18:
- Story Edit I (peer's novel)
- Week 19:
- Story Edit II (peer's novel)
- Week 20:
- Revise "Bleeding Manuscript" (5 filler words, and sentence structure: fragments and runons)
- LBA #2
- JOLN #3
- Week 21:
- Story Edit III (peer's novel)
- Week 22:
- Prose Edit I: Dialogue (peer's novel)
- Week 23:
- Rewrite/Revise your novel: Week 1
- Week 24:
- Rewrite/Revise your novel: Week 2
- Week 25:
- Rewrite/Revise your novel: Week 3
- Week 26:
- Rewrite/Revise your novel: Week 4
- Week 27:
- Story Edit IV: (peer's novel)
- Week 28:
- Prose Edit II: Description (peer's novel)
- Spring Break: 25 - 31 March 2024
- Week 29:
- Grammar Edit I: (peer's novel)
- Cover Creation
- Week 30:
- Formatting novel for publication; Pre-launch marketing
- Week 31:
- Grammar/Final Edit II: (own novel); Pre-launch marketing
- Week 32:
- PUBLICATION WEEK!!!
- "Launch" marketing
- Week 33:
- Create and Publish Video Book Trailer #1
- Post launch marketing
- Week 34:
- Marketing (primarily social media)
- Week 35:
- Video Book Trailer #2
- Week 36:
- Journey of Learning Narrative
- Final Limits Bounding Analysis (LBA)
- Course End: 25 May 2024
Expected Work Load
- Typically one or more tasks that you must perform to move your project iteratively "down the road"
- One or more discussion questions from the teacher to answer
- Ensuring that you go through any of the learning activities for skills where you are not yet proficient to help you in future weeks' tasks
***All of this is designed to take you about 5 focused hours per week, which is less than you would have if you were attending class in a traditional school. The exception is during November (Nanowrimo) where you will have to work harder in order to complete your first draft.
How can i write this course up on a high school transcript?
- As an English course, given the writing, outlining, research, and editing experience that the student gains through the writing, editing, revising, publishing, and marketing their novel.
- As a Business/Marketing elective, given the marketing planning, and publishing process that the student will go through with their novel, as well as the video book trailer (advertisement) that the student had to produce.
- As a Fine Arts elective, given the storytelling process that the student had to go through, as well as the video book trailer that the student had to produce to sell their book to their audience.