Novel Writing Workshop


Twelve Weeks

March 30 – June 15

Details will be sent within a day after registration.

Zoom Meetings:
7:00-8:00 pm

Online Workshopping
on Canvas

Deb Lerew

Deb is an independently-published author and poet. Under the pen name Leta Hawk, she has published four novels in the Kyrie Carter: Supernatural Sleuth paranormal mystery series and is working on the fifth. She has also published a poetry chapbook under the name D. S. Lerew.

She is also a substitute teacher who lives in Dillsburg, Pennsylvania. She holds a B.A. in English and Secondary Education/English Certification from Lock Haven University and an M.A. in Religion from Evangelical Seminary.

Her favorite subjects to teach have been Arthurian Literature and creative writing, both of which she taught to middle- and high-school students.

In addition, she is currently a Faculty Co-Advisor for the Creative Writing Club at Northern York County High School.

The minimum class size will be four; the maximum will be ten.

Amazon link:

Have you always dreamed of writing a novel, but thought the process seemed overwhelming? If so, this course is a great place to start.

In this course, you will first discover how to read like a writer, observing how other authors effectively use language to craft their stories. 

From there, you will learn the basic process of novel writing from the first spark of inspiration to the planning and writing stages.

You’ll take a walk through the novel-writing process, using the seven-point story arc to create an outline and begin writing your story. 

As you begin putting words on the page, you will explore the elements of character, setting, plot, conflict, theme, point of view, and dialog, and learn how these elements make your story come to life.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to submit your work for critique, and you
will also critique the work of your classmates.

By the end of this course, you will have a complete outline of your first novel, and
have written the first fifty pages.

Tentative Syllabus

Week 1
Discussion: Reading Like a Writer + The Art of Critique


*Choose a novel to read and study. Begin reading and taking notes about
the author’s use of language, description, or anything that stands out to

Week 2
Discussion: That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It: Finding Ideas

*Continue reading your chosen novel and taking notes.
*Come up with three ideas for a book. Choose one and use the Idea-in-a-
Nutshell method to pitch your idea.

Week 3
Discussion: Five-Sentence Story

*Continue reading your chosen novel and taking notes. Try to summarize
in five sentences.
*Summarize your novel idea in five sentences. Be prepared to share. 

Week 4
Discussion: Plotting, Pantsing, and Plantsing: Outlines, conflict, and plot

*Continue reading your chosen novel and taking notes.
*Flesh out your Five-Sentence Story into the Seven-Point Story Arc

Week 5
Discussion: There I Was, Minding My Own Business… Opening scenes and

*Look back at the opening scene of your chosen novel. How did the
author begin his/her story?
*Write your first chapter.

Week 6
Discussion: Who Do We Have Here? Character development, point of view, and
inciting incident

*Continue reading your chosen novel and taking notes. Focus on
character descriptions and the inciting incident.
*Write a character sketch for your main character and at least one other

Week 7
Discussion: Into the Thick of It: Setting, rising action, and crisis

*Continue reading, noting how the plot is influenced by the setting,
pacing, and scene length.
*Continue writing. Be sure to pay attention to descriptions, pacing, and
scene length.

Week 8
Discussion: Can We Talk? Dialog

*Choose two dialog scenes from your chosen novel, one from a fairly
mundane scene, and one from an emotional or action scene. Analyze the
way the author uses dialog to move the story forward.
*Write a dialog scene between at least two characters. Pay attention to
each character’s voice and the flow of the conversation.

Week 9
Discussion: Just When I Thought Things Couldn’t Get Worse: Climax and character

*Analyze the climax of your chosen novel. What methods does the author
use to create a sense of excitement or urgency? Are those methods
*Look back at your Five-Sentence Story. After Balance, determine
whether your main character’s wants and needs are clear.
*Outline your climax. Decide if and how those wants and needs will be
met after the climax.

Week 10
Discussion: The New Normal: Denouement and resolution

*How does the author of your chosen novel handle the denouement and
return the main character to a sense of stasis? Do you as a reader feel
satisfied with the ending?
*Continue writing your story. Outline your denouement and resolution.

Week 11
Discussion: What’s the Big Idea? Theme

*Does your chosen novel have an obvious theme? Why do you think
he/she wrote this story? Does the theme mesh well with the story?
*Continue writing. Take a look at your story/outline/character goals.
Does a theme/big idea jump out at you? Does it feel consistent with the
story you wanted to tell?

Week 12
Discussion: It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over: Revision and next steps
No assignment.

Novel Writing Workshop Registration

If you are ready to register for the Introduction to Tech Writing, please use paypal. If you have quesitons, feel free to use the form below.