Monday, December 05, 2011

The Future of the Two Year Novel Course

I began the first Two Year Novel Course at Forward Motion ( in January, 2004.  The course covered writing a novel from the very first idea all the way through submission (or later, for Indie Authors -- all the way to publication).  The course is filled with information to help people at every step, and while some new writers found it useful, even those who had written a few novels found things to help them shift their thinking for newer projects.

I am ending the last set of the original classes in December, 2011.  I had also published two books (one for each year of the course) at Holly Lisle's store, but those are no longer available.

Since everything was closing down, I thought to give the course a break, edit the books in a year or so, and make them available again . . . later.

However, many people began asking me about the classes and the books.  I knew I didn't have time to edit the entire two (or even one) year course right now so I decided to put the material out in sets, which I could edit as groups, making the work a bit less daunting and giving people the ability to take the entire course or pick up the ones they want. 

There will be nine pieces in all:

Basics (this one) Weeks 1-5

Characters Weeks 6-13

World building Weeks 14-25

Outlines Weeks 26-33

Writing the First Draft/1 Weeks 34-45

Writing the First Draft/2 Weeks 46-65

Editing -Second Draft Weeks 66 -77

Editing - Final Draft Weeks 78 - 88

Submission and Publication Weeks 89 - 104

This is a total of 104 classes so if you do one a week (I always started the courses the first week of January), you will have completed everything in two years.  This is how I presented the 2YN course online for eight years.  I hope to have all the pieces edited and up for sale by the end of year one, though, so people will not have to stick to this timeline.

Each class includes the 'lecture' plus an assignment and examples.

Not everything will help you, and certainly not everything will help with every book you write.  However, the more an author is willing to look outside their usual patterns, the more likely they are to find the spark to write something new and different.

The first set will be out in the next few days so people can be ready to start the classes in January.  The sets will be $0.99 each and I will put them out as often as I can, but there is no schedule.  How often depends a great deal on the rest of my work.  While I don't intend to do extensive editing, the publishing world has changed drastically in the eight years since I began this course.  Also, the course was originally designed to run on Forward Motion, and I am removing those references so people will not be tied to any sort of on-line structure.

I will announce here and on Twitter (LazetteG) as the pieces are available.  Look for the 2YN tag.


Deb Salisbury said...

2YN is a great resource. I highly recommend Lazette's classes!

Zette said...

Thank you!

It's always good to hear from someone who liked the classes!

The Wandering Author said...

I own copies of the e-books (got them a couple of years ago, when they were available) and took the course at FM. The course was very useful to me as far as I managed to last - and my failure to finish was due to my shortcomings, not anything in the course. (Tip to anyone trying it: don't get hung up too much on steps that don't work for you. Before you know it, you've lost so much ground, you lose all hope of catching up. If I'd had the sense to know that then, I'm sure I would have gained much more from the course. So, if a particular step just isn't 'clicking' for you, skip it. But give it a good shot first, because some of the steps I thought I'd have trouble with gave me some great material to work with.)

Zette said...

Thank you, too!

And yes, I think the trick with 2YN is to find what works for you and change or ignore the rest -- but only after you've really thought about it.

bonniers said...

Thank you! I took the very first 2YN couse back in 2004/5 and loved it. It gave me a structured way to explore a lot of alternative techniques. Some of them worked for me and some didn't. Some that didn't work then have become more useful since then. I'm going to be grabbing a few of these to work through again to see what else might have changed for me.

Jean said...

This is great news. I was also in the original class. I have the books, too, but I'm looking forward to getting this revised version, because, as Zette says, a lot has changed since the original class. I'm particularly interested in the Indie Author additions.

Thank you, Zette.

S.Durham said...

I am one of the 'last' students catching up, and I am so glad that I was able to take advantage of the wealth of information and experience you have shared with us over these last two years! I too highly recommend this course, and to be sure I will be passing that along on my website and elsewhere!

Zette, thank you again for developing the course and sharing it with so many of us writers, It has been a tremendous help in my writing, so please know that your hard work is most appreciated.

Thank you,


Raven said...

I've taken the class twice and frequently refer to the books even if I'm not active in the class. I tried a lot of things I wouldn't have thought of, and most of them helped, even if they didn't seem to at first. And there are some things I find absolutely essential, particularly in the worldbuilding section, that I return to every single time I start a new book.

Suzi McGowen said...

I was in the original class, too! I loved it, and bought the ebooks when they were available. I love the community feel of the class, though. The weekly encouragement and feedback was great.

Thank you, Zette :)