Affiliate Program

The Novel Elements: What Every Writer Should Know

Tim Wright

Course ID: LC011

Current Openings: Yes

The first thing agents and editors look for is knowledge of the novel elements, including:

  • Characterization,
  • Plot and setting,
  • Dialogue
  • Point of view

In this course, you will learn tricks of the trade:

  • To enhance your chances of being published
  • So one day you will get that call from your agent telling you that she or he has an offer.

So you have to ask yourself some important questions;

  • Do I have an understanding of POV?
  • Do I know that
    • Omniscient means god-like, and that it's rarely used today;
    • Third person limited means staying in one character's POV for that scene;
    • Second person, although interesting in novels like Bright Lights, Big City, is best left to seasoned professionals;
    • First person should be avoided, at least for the first few novels.

And what about characterization?

Do I know as much about my main character as I know about myself?

Do I understand my antagonist's motivation?

The list goes on and on. During this course your work will be scrutinized and you will learn:

  • What all good writers know and
  • How to use that knowledge.

And you'll feel much better about your chances.

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Course Type:

Private mentoring.


To enhance the student's chances of getting a novel published by providing him or her with in-depth and technical understanding of the novel elements:

  • Point of View,
  • Plot and Setting,
  • Characterization and
  • Dialogue.

Learner Prerequisites

A desire to write a novel!

Start Date Ongoing, open enrollment.
Duration 4 lessons at your pace.
Limit N/A
Class Materials None
Cost $225
Tutorial Option Additional mentoring and critiquing is available from the instructor. The fee is $45 per hour. Please contact [email protected] to register.

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Point of View

  • What is it and how does it affect my novel?
  • How many points of view are there?
  • Which one should I pick?

This interactive lesson will answer these questions and more.

Lesson 2: Plot and Setting

This interactive lesson will explore

  • plot movement,
  • sagging middles, (eve if you're not middle age)
  • the importance of your setting to the reader and most importantly,
  • how can I keep a plot interesting for all those words?

Lesson 3: Characterization

  • How well should I know my character?
  • Where do characters come from?
  • What about minor characters?
  • Protagonists and Antagonists - who's more important?

Good questions, all, and all will be answered in another interactive session.

Lesson 4: Dialogue

It's been said that dialogue is the easiest of the elements to master - nothing could be further from the truth. Written dialogue is vastly different from every day conversation.

In another interactive session, learn about

  • the importance (or not) of taglines;
  • How to bring a plot alive through dialogue;
  • how dialogue is action and the reverse.

Learn everything you need to know about this, the most misunderstood of the novel elements, and go ahead confident in your new-found ability.

Instructor Bio

T. Lucien Wright has published five novels, short stories and non-fiction.
He has taught the craft of writing to people of all ages for the last fifteen years.
Until recently, he was the Director of Adult Education at Writers & Books, a not for profit literary organization in Rochester, NY.
He has lectured at all levels, grade school, high school and college.
He's working on a novel about Vietnam, simply entitled, 'Nam.
He lives in Rochester with his wife of 36 years, two aged dogs, and four cantankerous cats.