Starting to Write Your Novel

The online writing course that helps you get your novel off the ground. Develop your idea, plot and plan your novel, and write a confident opening, with our support.


April 11 2019 - May 23 2019


Start your writing journey


Hosted on our bespoke learning platform

Course fee £200

+ £100 for a 500-word report


If you are starting to write a novel and are looking for help with the basics, this is the online creative writing course for you. Curtis Brown Creative Director Anna Davis will take you on a six-week journey into your own story and show you how to plan all essential components of your first novel.

Starting to Write Your Novel is suitable for new writers, whether you’re writing fiction for fun or taking the first steps in a more serious journey. The course will give you lots of great advice on how to get going with your novel and offers a taste of the writing courses we have to offer at Curtis Brown Creative at an affordable price.

It is the first in our novel-writing series – along with Write to the End of Your Novel  and Edit & Pitch Your Novel – designed to take you all the way from the germ of an idea to a polished draft and pitch.


It doesn’t matter if your starting point is simply a desire to write or if you’ve already got started – our aim is to teach you the fundamental aspects of writing a novel and give you the tools you need to plan your story and write your opening.

This great learning package features teaching videos and substantial notes organised into six weekly modules designed for flexible study, so you can take part at times to suit you and from wherever in the world you are.

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Weekly Modules

A clear path from blank page to the first 3000 words.

Work through six weekly modules containing teaching videos and substantial notes specially writ-ten and produced by novelist, agent and course leader Anna Davis.

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Student Forum

The hub of our online courses. Find your writing community.

Upload your completed writing tasks, give and receive feedback, and discuss the week’s topics with your fellow students and the CBC team.

Anna Davis, Curtis Brown Creative's Managing Director

Video Tutorials

Founder, agent and novelist Anna Davis guides you through course.

Specially filmed teaching videos, presented by Anna Davis, featuring great tips and advice on the novel-writing process.


Writing Tasks

Custom writing tasks to help you learn practically

Weekly writing and ‘thinking’ tasks will help you explore and understand the teaching topics and progress your novel. Weekly posts to the group from Anna will reinforce these lessons.

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Resources & Notes

Comprehensive teaching notes and reference materials that are yours to keep.

You’ll get access to multiple Case Studies, additional resources and teaching notes, including good ‘writing ground rules’ and lists of recommended reading.



Get feedback from your peers and an expert CBC editor

An expert CBC editor will give brief written feedback on several of the students' practical assign-ments every week, with all students receiving feedback on one of their writing tasks.


You can follow the course at your own pace, but to get the best out of this course, allow plenty of writing time to focus on your novel. Watch the videos, read and reflect on the notes and resources, complete the writing tasks and thinking tasks, and take part in discussions in the forum.

It’s also important to be planning and working on your novel throughout the six weeks. Ideally, we recommend spending around 8-10 hours a week working on your novel to get the most out of the course. At the end of the six weeks, we will ask you to post up in the forum the opening of your novel (up to 3,000 words) and a page to tell us where your plot is headed.

We encourage all students to offer positive, constructive feedback to each other in the forum as the course progresses.

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Our bespoke learning platform features separate forum spaces for each teaching unit, arranged in a clear structure that’s easy to use. This enables students to quickly find and take part in discussions and to easily locate task materials they’d like to refer back to.

For an additional fee of £100 you can obtain a detailed 500-word report on your final task (your 3,000 word opening and one page explaining where your story is going) from an expert CBC editor when the course finishes.


Introduction and Reading as a Writer

Learn why writers should read as much as possible – and how to read like a writer.


Inspiration and Ideas

Where to find inspiration and ideas for your novel – and how to use them.


Plotting, Planning and Story

What level of planning and plotting is right for you and your novel?


Voice, Narration and Point of View

Deciding on how your novel is told is essential to its progress.


Questions of Character

How to create memorable characters for your novel.


Writing Your Opening

How to create that all-important opening to your novel.


We’re excited to have you join our community of writers. Choose your preferred option from the right-hand-side and click the ‘Pay & Enrol’ button. You will be shown a secure credit card form for payment. If you have a discount code you can input the details at payment. Once you enrol we’ll send you a confirmation email and then on the day before your course begins you will receive a welcome pack explaining everything you need to know about the course.

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