Writing a Novel: Getting going and keeping at it

Online course


Join Louise Doughty, the bestselling author of Apple Tree Yard and Times contributor, on the evening of Wednesday, August 26 for a practical workshop on the art of writing a novel. 

So many great novels have been written during periods of upheaval and change, however, even if you are inspired to get going, the question is how to start? This practical workshop will guide you through the art of getting started with your first novel, including an introduction into how to plot your novel and how to write with authenticity, passion and personality.

Over the course of 90 minutes, Louise will offer guidance on throwing yourself into your book and reveal some of the techniques novelists use to captivate and engage their readers. 

This online course, brought to you by The Times and The Sunday Times, is a rare opportunity to hear from a leading practitioner in their field. Delivered via live video link, Louise Doughty will lead an interactive masterclass before offering you the opportunity to pose your questions and receive feedback.


Part 1: What makes a great opening to a novel? 

Part 2: Writing your own opener 

Part 3: Keeping going and building material

Part 4: Plotting and planning

Part 5: Publishing 101  

About Louise Doughty

Louise Doughty is the author of nine novels, including the number one bestseller Apple Tree Yard, which was adapted as a BBC One four-part series starring Emily Watson. Her eighth novel, Black Water, was one of the New York Times Notable Books of the Year and her sixth novel, Whatever You Love, was nominated for the Costa Novel Award and the Orange Prize for fiction. She has also been nominated for many other awards including The Sunday Times Short Story Prize. She is a critic and cultural commentator for both UK and international newspapers and broadcasts regularly on the BBC. Her work has been translated into thirty languages. Her most recent book, Platform Seven, is out now in paperback from Faber & Faber.  

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For enquiries about this course please contact courses@thetimes.co.uk

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