Beginning Novel Workshop – 2019

March 11 – April 21

So, you want to write a novel and you don’t know where to begin…or, you have an idea, some pages, but, you’re trying to figure out how to make it a page turning novel that publishers will buy, and you’re okay with run-on sentences like this one, then let’s dive into what it takes to create a compelling narrative.

With video lectures, writing exercises, and short daily writing assignments, this class will immerse you into writing like a novelist. At the end of the course, each student will receive a 20 minute phone consultation regarding their work.

Note new start date is March 11th.

Registration is $350. Limited to 10 students. Contact for any questions.


Week 1 – Character (March 11 – 17)
Why characters mean everything to your story or novel.
Video lecture. Writing homework.
How to get out of your own way as a writer.

Week 2 – Scenes and plot (March 18 – 24)
How to write compelling scenes that move your plot forward.
Video lecture. Writing homework.
Schedule student workshop assignments for following weeks.
Why we all have imposter syndrome and how to harness it.

Week 3 – Dialog (March 25 – March 30)
When to use dialog. How to develop three dimensional characters in dialog.
Video lecture. Writing homework.
Development notes for first round of student workshop.
If you still don’t feel like a writer, even though you’re writing, you’re a writer.

Week 4 – Setting (April 1 – April 7)
Use setting as a character. How to avoid info-dumps.
Video lecture. Writing homework.
Development notes for second round of student workshop.
What how-to books and many workshops don’t want to tell you.

Week 5 – Theme and First Page (April 8 – 14)
What does your story say without saying it?
What is a good first sentence, first paragraph, first page?
Video lecture. Writing homework.
Development notes for third round of student workshop.
It still feels weird, don’t worry, it always does…how to deal with feeling weird.

Week 6 – Character, yes, character (April 15 – April 21)
How characters play into every element of a novel or story.
Video lecture.
Development notes for fourth round of student workshop.
Setting goals to finish your work as well as realistic goals regarding the publishing business.
Other ways to get out of your own way as a writer. (Not booze.)

Individual phone consultation

All consultations must be scheduled between April 15 – April 21.

Any questions, feel free to reach out via email:

Tony DuShane
teaches writing at UCLA Extension. He’s the author and award-winning screenwriter of Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk, directed by Eric Stoltz, and now streaming on Amazon Prime. His writing has appeared in Mother Jones, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Penthouse, and The Rumpus. He hosts the literary podcast Drinks with Tony every Wednesday.