As you approach completion of a first draft, it's the perfect time to take stock of what you've achieved so far, and change everything that is holding your novel back. But most authors will agree that it's hard to find a qualified, objective voice to show you where you're going wrong, and back up where you're going right. This course offers an exciting opportunity for new writers to get personal coaching from a renowned talent. Join Whitbread-winning novelist Tim Lott for a comprehensive writing clinic where you'll receive in-depth, tailored advice that deals directly with the problems you're facing with your manuscript, as well as receiving an education in more general good practice. By the close of the weekend, you'll be ready to complete your final draft with confidence, as Tim identifies your work's problem areas, gives you the tools to improve them, and teaches you psychological techniques to overcome doubt and writer's block.
This in-depth weekend course will provide tailored advice for a small group of novelists. Attendees will be asked to submit a document outlining specific difficulties or concerns they're facing with their work, and the content of the course will then be tailored around the needs of the group. The course also features a guest talk from high profile agent Clare Alexander on how to present and sell your completed work to the publishing industry.
Topics covered include:
- How to purge cliches from your writing
- Character check – do your main characters have convincing arcs? What are their secrets, and the illusions that sustain them?
- Psychological MOT – how to deal with blocks, and how to keep going when you are feeling discouraged
- What makes for a satisfying ending?
- The art of synopses and of the pitch – how to sell your manuscript to the industry
- Crafting a powerful title
- Plot, time and structure – getting the architecture of your story right
This course is for you if…
- You're an author who has recently completed, or is close to completing, the first draft of a novel
- You're an alumnus of a previous beginner-level Guardian Masterclass for writers looking for more in-depth advice on your writing
Tim Lott is an award-winning novelist, journalist, critic and creative writing tutor. His first book, memoir The Scent of Dried Roses, was published in 1996. His first novel White City Blue, published in 1999, won the Whitbread First Novel Award, and other works include Rumours of a Hurricane (2002), The Love Secrets of Don Juan (2003), the Seymour Tapes (2005) and young adult novel Fearless (2007). His latest novel is Under the Same Stars.
When & Where
Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.
Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.
Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.
The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.