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Quick Facts

Medium Of InstructionsMode Of LearningMode Of Delivery
EnglishSelf Study, Virtual ClassroomVideo and Text Based

Course Overview

Realizing the importance of story writing, edX brings the How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline course for individuals who want to learn the basic outline and structure of novel writing. Candidates will get to learn various skills and techniques of novel writing right from the fundamentals like developing a basic plot idea, building an outline, developing characters, choosing the right words, story structuring, adding fictional elements, maintaining pace, and so on.  How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline training is brought to you by edX in association with the University of British Columbia. 

It is best known for its methods of teaching and research. Also, it is consistently ranked among the top 40 universities in the world. It is instructor-led training such that candidates will have great interaction and deep learning with the instructors. The instructors are professional writers who are vastly experienced and skilled in creative writing.  How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline certificate course curriculum is a part of the UBC MFA program where students will learn the habits and ways of professional authors which will help them to write a successful draft.

EdX provides a great path for candidates who want to achieve their dream of becoming a professional writer and writing a novel. There are mainly 2 modes which can be opted by the candidates while they wish to enroll for this certificate course. There is a time constraint if students choose to pursue the course in the audit track. If they on the other hand select the verified mode, they will get unlimited access.

The Highlights

  • Instructor-led course
  • Powered by the University of British Columbia
  • Intermediate-level course
  • The course duration of 6 weeks
  • Efforts of 4-6 hours per week
  • Video transcripts
  • Interaction with fellow writers

Programme Offerings

  • instructor-led training
  • assignments
  • Sample lectures
  • Video transcripts
  • Creative projects
  • discussions
  • Feedback sessions
  • Video interviews
  • Readings

Courses and Certificate Fees

Certificate AvailabilityCertificate Providing Authority
yesThe University of British Columbia, Vancouver

The total amount of How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline certification fee for pursuing this course is Rs. 24,519 .

The table for the fee structure is given below:

Fee structure

Amount in Rs.

Total fee


What you will learn

How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline certification syllabus teaches a wide range of stuff for candidates such as -

  • Basics of story structuring like elements, characters, plot twists, story essence, character arcs, and so on.
  • Developing a basic plot idea from the roots.
  • Construction of a story using the blueprint of story structure.
  • Designing characters and adding character arcs.
  • How to progress from a fundamental outline to writing a draft.
  • Detecting problems and weaknesses in the story and characters.
  • How to correct the errors in the midway and properly shape up the output.
  • How to have a successful plan and outline for writing a novel.
  • Choosing the right set of words and the fundamentals of word-building.

How to properly research and attain a certain style of writing that goes well with the story.

Who it is for

How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline course is highly recommended for individuals such as -

  • Beginners who want to learn the art of creative writing and learn basic skills and techniques.
  • Writers who want to hone up their skills and acquire new ideas and techniques to produce better output.
  • Candidates who want to become professional content writers and make writing as a career prospect.

Admission Details

The admission process for enrolling in How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline classes is as follows -

Step 1: Students are required to visit the course page on the edX website by clicking on the URL which is given below.

Step 2: Kindly go through the website and click on the ‘Enroll’ option.

Step 3: Please fill in your details carefully.

Step 4: Select your preferred payment method. Keep your payment details handy.

Step 5: Carefully enter the payment details without any errors.

Step 6: Enter the coupon code and avail the offer if you have any.

Step 7: Click on ‘Place Order’ at the bottom of the website. 

Step 8: You will be enrolled in the course after the successful transaction.

The Syllabus

  • Introduction to the course.
  • Writing as layers of decision-making. What outlines can look like (narrative, point form, pictorial, etc.).
  • What an opening can accomplish: first sentence, first paragraph, first page.

Assignment: learners will write three versions of the first page of their novels. We’ll provide a self-evaluation rubric.

  • How to build character. What are the main elements that will keep a reader’s interest in a character for the length of an entire novel?
  • Conflict and antagonism. Without conflict a story has no forward momentum. We’ll discuss the three levels of antagonism that your protagonist should face.
  • World-building. Whether the learner is working on science fiction, historical fiction, or contemporary literary fiction, creating a rich, vivid, and credible world will be key to holding the reader’s interest.

Assignment: Who is your protagonist? What do they yearn for? What are the assorted levels of antagonism? What genre are you writing? What are the rules of your world?

  • We’ll apply the lessons of character to an understanding of the motion of story. Last week we sketched our character; this week we’ll animate that character.
  • The internal journey and its accompanying concepts: belief systems, and making the internal and external stories work in tandem.
  • Transformation of character, and the analysis of various kinds of structure (forwards, backwards, spiral, etc.) with concrete examples.

Assignment: Write a 250-300 word outline of your novel in narrative format.

  • Scene design in depth: the components of a scene, scene analysis tools, deconstructing and rewriting scenes.
  • The three-act structure, from screenplay to novel.

Assignment: Write out scene analysis cards for the scenes in your novel. For discussion, post a breakdown of one scene which you found particularly challenging.

  • Common problems in Acts II and III. Structural analysis tools and how to use them.
  • The relationship between reading and writing.

Assignment: Provide a structural analysis of a book similar to the one you’re thinking of writing.

  • Endings and how to get there.
  • Producing a workable writing plan that fits your life and schedule.
  • Dealing with writer’s block and procrastination.
  • How to work from the outline, and how to deal with setbacks.
  • Treating writing like a job.

Assignment: Learners will finish sketching out their 2nd and 3rd acts, scene by scene.


The University of British Columbia, Vancouver Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

1: Does edX provide any discount or offer on this How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline online course?

No, edX doesn’t provide any offer or discount on this course but candidates can apply the coupon to get a fee concession.

2: What is the type of this course?

The course is an intermediate level of course. This is an instructor-led course and involves methods like videos and interactive ones like quizzes and activities.

3: What are the minimum marks required to pass the weekly assignments?

Students are advised to check the minimum marks required to pass the assignments on the course dashboard. However, it varies from course to course.

4: What are the course timings?

The course timings will be allotted after the enrollment based on your batch. But, the classes will be 4-6 hours per week.

5: Is there any How to Write a Novel: Structure & Outline certification by edX after the course completion?

No, edX doesn’t provide any certification after the course completion as this is just a part of the series.

6: How will the instructor’s clear doubts?

The instructors will connect with the candidates through Google Hangouts where they will clear all their queries and doubts.

7: Are there any sample classes provided?

Yes, it is advised that students must watch the demo lectures before enrolling in the course to get a basic overview.

8: Does this course offer any assignments and projects?

This course comes with various assignments and projects. There will be at least one assignment every week. Students can improve their outline through discussions with colleagues and feedback sessions.

9: What is the name of the institution that teaches the course?

The instructors are from the University of British Columbia. They encourage the students in every possible way and guide them on the right path.


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