How to Write a Novel

Hello everyone. Today, I wanted to share my journey with you on writing my latest novel, which will be finished soon. (After my big day, when I’ll be a married author, lol, but not too long after.)

For a while, I fell into a rut and struggled to finish anything I started. I needed help. Until now, I’ve always been a die-hard pantser. I tried a full outline process once, and I hated it. But then I came across an awesome teacher who offers online classes.

Holly Lisle.

Quite honestly, she has turned my writing life around.

Her approach offers the best of both worlds: pantsing and planning. The way I see it, the class on How to Write a Novel shows a fantastic middle way, and it has lots of creative tools to tempt your muse.

Holly offers a range of classes, which start from FREE to affordable to more advanced. For the pricier classes, Holly offers a zero-interest payment plan.

I started trying to revamp my writing by taking the FREE class on How to Write Flash Fiction that doesn’t Suck. It gave me a hell of a kick start.

Next, I took an affordable 8-week class on How to Write Short Stories, and that gave me a whole other valuable writing tool-kit.

And still, my confidence for tackling another full-on novel lacked something. That rut turned out to be a deep one. So I took the plunge and went for the brand new class on How to Write a Novel. This is a planned 38 week class with bonuses added in. It covers everything you could need to get started writing and keeping going right through to the end.

I’ve learned how to use the artefact method to generate a great novel idea. I’ve learned how to get going and keep on going, even through the middle which can get messy. This course has taught me (an old-hand at writing) so much. It’s brilliant for both complete beginners and seasoned writers alike. Because the early-bird price is being relaunched from today, 10 am ET until 10 pm ET on April 8th only, I wanted to share with you how helpful I have found it … just in case.

Here are the lessons in brief:

  • Developing Novel-sized ideas
  • Concept testing–planning before writing
  • How to make your characters novel worthy
  • Conflict: How to grab readers and not let go
  • Writing the killer first page
  • The next scene and going deep into ‘show don’t tell’
  • How to work inside novel structures
  • Getting words on the page: building your daily process
  • Genre: What HAS to be there
  • Basic technique: Pacing the plot–building and maintaining suspense
  • Dialogue: fixing talking heads and other conversational disasters
  • Avoiding the too much research swamp
  • Writing good descriptions
  • A guide to transition scenes
  • All about theme and subtext
  • Building your novel’s RIGHT voice and tone
  • How to figure out ‘what happens next’
  • Twists: Building hidden, revealed, and other core plot developments
  • Story Fitting: having enough good stuff
  • Getting your character into GOOD corners
  • Getting your character OUT of good corners
  • Writing Tight: story middles at novel length
  • Identifying, pacing, tracking, and resolving story arcs
  • Protect your novel from wrong directions
  • What to do if you have veered off course
  • Fixing broken plots BEFORE you hit ‘the end’
  • Thin prose and fat prose
  • The series tempation: Keeping the story inside one book
  • The story that’s bigger than your writing skills
  • Knowing when and how to cut and simplify during First Draft
  • Getting this novel done despite fear, doubt, and distraction
  • Big book, or story and sequel?
  • Unsticking stuck stories
  • Following through on theme, allegory, and passion
  • Finishing the novel: endings with multiple antagonists and multiple climaxes
  • Finding or building (and recognising) your RIGHT ending
  • Bringing it all home: Story, characters, world, and promise
  • BONUS ONE: Streamlining the whole class for future novels
  • BONUS TWO: To Be Announced

As if all this isn’t enough, as a ‘big class’ member, you get an automatic 20% discount on any future purchases you make via the shop.

The class forum is the friendliest and most supportive place for writers that I’ve come across. And Holly Lisle is very active on there answering all your questions and, where needed, offering pointers.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’re interested in this class, this is your LAST CHANCE to grab this awesome course at its super early-bird price. After 10pm ET on April 8th, it will go up and stay up. Right now is the cheapest you will EVER be able to buy this class.

A note from Holly on her pricing structure:

  • EARLY-BIRD means I’m still building the the class, and my earliest students are getting their lessons the day after I write them. I have eight lessons and two bonuses yet to build — and the lessons are in rough first draft. This is the reason for the first discount.
  • SPLINTERS means that because I’m writing one lesson a week and just one week ahead of a live class, I’m working FAST. So there are typos, places where I was a bit unclear and had to explain things more fully in forum posts, and places where I missed things students needed to know. This is the reason for the second discount.
  • My current students are keeping track of the errors they find on the forum and asking me questions about places where I was unclear, and I’m answering them live. These corrections, questions, and answers will be included as parts of each lesson in the final version of the class.”

But that fact ALSO means that there will be TWO price increases in the future. The first when I wrap the EARLY BIRD and have all the lessons and both bonuses built in first draft.  The second when I finish the revision.

These price increases will be significant.

” Folks who’ve been with me a while know that I support my classes, upgrade them, add to them, debug them. And when I finish an upgrade or update, I raise the price.

That’s important because this class is currently in both its EARLY-BIRD and its SPLINTERS version.”

This is the LAST early-bird. The LAST discount that will be offered.


I hope you’ve found this useful. If you’re interested in any of Holly’s other classes, you’ll find some links to those on the side-bar. Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Writing! 🙂


Story Empire (Co-authored)

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Twitter: @harmony_kent

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6 Comments on “How to Write a Novel

    • Holly is one of those teachers with a teaching style that I get. Her classes are working so well for me. Thanks, Denise 🙂

  1. I read one of her books and thought it was fabulous. Sounds like a great class. A great series of classes. Glad you got a lot out of her lessons.