Novel Outlining: Online

6 weeks online; no live meetings. Class opens May 20th.
Online (WetInk)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
This class is full

When embarking on novel projects, many writers struggle with the planning. Whether you’re at the beginning with a fresh idea, or mired in the middle-of-book doldrums, outlining can provide the necessary backbone for suspenseful, well-thought-out, and thematically rich storytelling. But how much should you plan? What kind of structure does your story need? Are character maps, story maps, or storyboarding right for you? In this class, we’ll explore the methods and techniques novelists use for structuring and planning their novels, including story maps, character histories, timelining, and chapter outlines. We’ll go over the pros and cons of outlining, as well as practice our own outlining, and explore your novel’s big picture goals and aims. Students will submit novel synopses for group feedback and practice outlining their novels. We’ll also do scene and character exercises to decipher what challenges characters must face for story closure and resolution.

Students will leave the class with a detailed novel outline for their project, detailed feedback on their first chapter, and concrete techniques for mapping the road ahead. This class is appropriate for writers at any stage of writing their novel’s first draft, from just starting the first page to nearing the end of a draft.

*NOTE that while our handy dandy "Schedule" tab states a 6-7pm class time, there are actually no live meetings for this class! Weekly lessons and assignments open each Wednesday. Students will receive an invitation to Wet Ink, our online class platform, before 5pm on the first day of class.

Scholarship Information

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

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Blair Hurley
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Previous Students Say

  • "Very Well-Organized"
  • "Inundated with Great Info"
  • "Supportive and Informative"


  • Generate New Work
  • Get Feedback
  • Craft Lessons
  • Instructor Feedback
  • Class Discussion
  • Concept Development


  • The Novel

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