How To Write A Novel

TheCreativePenn_Course Buttons52015 – Sorry – these courses have been discontinued after several years of happy customers! You can find much of the information in my books for authors here.

Have you always wanted to write a novel?

I’d always dreamed of writing a novel but I was blocked by all the literary expectations of greatness. If I couldn’t write a Booker prize winning novel, what was the point?

I struggled with thinking that I wasn’t creative for many years. I even tried to write my grand opus once, giving up my job and selling my house to pay for the writing time. But nothing came of it and I went back to the day job dejected.

Then in November 2009, I decided to write a novel as part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I looked at what I was reading, and what people were buying in bookstores and understood that literary fiction was just one of the many genres people enjoy reading. I didn’t have to write a prize-winning novel!

It is possible!

JPennBooks0813So I started to write an action-adventure thriller based on religious ideas with a kick-ass heroine. The rough scenes I started that November took over a year to turn into my first novel, Pentecost. In Feb 2011, it was published and has continued to rank in the Amazon bestseller charts.

I found my way through the jungle of books and blog posts, audios and How To workshops and made it to a finished novel, but it was a struggle.

I know I could have done it faster with the right knowledge

Since then, I’ve gone on to write five more full-length novels, two novellas and a short story collection as well as three non-fiction books.

It’s still hard and I’m still close to what it feels like to write the first novel and I want to share what I have learned along the way to save you time and heartache on your journey. I have a lot of tips from the process!

We want to help you write your novel

Roz Morris has written 11 novels, 8 of which are bestsellers under other names as she is a ghostwriter. Roz also has several books under her own name, My Memories of a Future Life and LifeForm 3 as well as a series of books for writers. Roz is a freelance editor and helps authors with writing and publishing advice at She is a pro who makes her living writing novels.

Together we have produced a multi-media mini course on How to write a novel.

Roz brings years of writing experience to the mix as well as her love of the craft and the backbone of her book for writers, Nail Your Novel. I bring the fresh perspective of a brand new novelist who is selling pretty well but still has all the recent memories of lessons learned. Roz is the experienced teacher and I’m just one step ahead of you in the class.

Two instructors, plenty of varied knowledge.

“Thank-you for providing these webinars. I have thoroughly enjoyed them all and feel much clearer now about moving forward with a novel. I have struggled a lot over the past couple of years, but you have cleared some of the cobwebs from my head with your information and personal accounts.” Cheryl Schenk

How is the course structured?

The mini-course was recorded in 3 webinar sessions, so there are 3 parts to the series.  The sessions were structured as follows.

Mind mapping scene in Pentecost

Session 1: From idea to first draft (Roz Morris)

  • Shaping your inspiration, nurturing ideas.
  • Research.
  • Plotting a novel vs. discovery writing. Outlining.
  • Deciding genre, character, plot, sub-plot, theme, timeline.
  • Starting with a bang
  • The muse and the inner critic
  • How to actually get the words done. Word count targets. Editing too soon. Writing fast.
  • The saggy middle.

Session 2: Lessons learned from writing a first novel (Joanna Penn)

  • Genre and deciding what kind of book to write
  • Writing scenes: the revelation that changed the way I write
  • Dialogue and character discussions. Writing a 3D antagonist/villain.
  • Setting. Researching places you’ve never been to.
  • Writing action and fight scenes.
  • Mind-mapping.
  • Bum glue. How to free write and get the first draft out of the way whilst working a day job and having a real life
  • Psychology of the first draft – what to do when you think your writing is terrible. To tell or not to tell others.
  • What happens after the first draft. My editing tips and tricks.

First draft notes for Pentecost

Session 3: From first draft to finished novel (Roz Morris)

  • Before you rewrite
  • The beat sheet. Structural survey of the novel.
  • Editing your first draft – the essentials
  • Ending on the right note
  • How to know when the draft is finished.
  • What to do next.
  • Q&A sessions

How is the material presented?

Once you have bought the course, you will be directed to a password protected page where you can download the information.

The material includes:

  • Over 4.5 hours of video that you can download or watch online. These are the recorded webinars.
  • Over 4.5 hours of audio from the webinars so you can listen on the move. We understand not everyone likes to consume video.
  • 86 pages of transcription from the webinars so you can read through in more depth, add your own notes and take advantage of the links we refer to throughout.
  • Slide packs from the sessions
  • Bonus material including Roz’s beat sheet breakdown and my own novel structuring spreadsheet template, plus recordings from a Marketing Q&A webinar.

How much does the course cost?

The mini-course is just US$99 and we know you will find the material incredibly useful.

Once you click to buy, you will be able to pay with Paypal or a credit card and you will be sent to the webinar signup page where you will enter your details. You will also be sent to a password protected page where all the course materials will be located.

If you are not happy with the material, I offer 100% money back guarantee, no questions asked. I want to provide useful information to you so I am committed to providing great value.

You can also email me with any questions: