Online Courses

NEW! Online Novel-Writing Course

Online novel writing

Telling Yourself The Story

It’s been attributed to both Somerset Maugham and Terry Pratchett but whoever said it – it’s a great quote: that ‘…writing the first draft of a novel is just you telling yourself the story.’

It’s a maxim I’ve lived with through all six of the novels I’ve written. I’ve never been a planner. I write by the seat of my pants, seeing where my characters lead me.

I might have an idea, a general sense of what I want to say in the novel. I might force myself to sit down and write a synopsis. But it’s only when I’ve completed the first draft, that I really know what my book is about and the best way to make it say what I want it to say.

If that sounds like you, then this could be the course you’ve been looking for!


Course Outline

The course is run completely online. Participants are limited and it’s ideally suited to someone who has an idea for their novel; who may have started or written some chapters or ideas down already.

You will receive access to a platform containing 40 downloadable video lessons as well as Take it Further practical exercises and other resources. You will also belong to a private Facebook group limited to participants on the course, enabling you to talk together and share your work online. 

I will be available on an agreed schedule of webinars for Q&A sessions – all of which will be available for download.

Topics on the course include:

  1. The Beginning: Where do I start?
  2. Do I need a Plot? Story Form and Structure
  3. Characters, or: Do you really need me?
  4. Look Who’s Talking: Point of View and Unreliable Narrators
  5. Setting, Place and Time
  6. Dialogue: How we speak vs How we read
  7. Killing your Darlings: Editing and Revising
  8. And Now to Market! Query letters; Agents; and Getting Published

At the end of this course, you will have the tools, resources, and support systems in place at the end of it to finish your novel (if you haven’t done so already!) and start submitting to agents.

Due to popular demand, I am running a Refresher Course of Telling Yourself the Story.

It’s a motivator, a way of keeping yourself accountable. Keeping that word count going. 

New term, new start. The kids are heading back to school. For six weeks, you can get your head down. Set yourself a word target. I’ll run a weekly Zoom call where you can chat with fellow writers, share what you’re written, get feedback from them and from me. This could be what you need to get yourself over that last hurdle to the finish line.

Limited places available. 

Email Alice at to register.



Telling Yourself the Story is currently open for new applicants. To register for the early bird waitlist for priority registration, follow this link.

If you would like more information, please contact me at