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Writing a novel can be a lonely business. It can also be pretty overwhelming when you’re doing it without input or support. If you want to start a novel or you’ve got a novel in progress, this class is designed to help.

“I love teaching novel writing,” says instructor Elaine Beale. “It’s so inspiring seeing each student create characters, stories, and entire worlds out of the blank page! And, because the novel is my favorite form to read and to write, I really enjoy helping new novelists get their work off the ground.”

The class covers the key aspects of novel writing: creating compelling characters, how to structure a scene and a chapter, and how to shape your plot. It also covers pacing, setting, and point-of-view, as well as strategies and techniques to support the writing process so you can get your novel done.

Says Elaine, “I give homework assignments so students can practice outlining their plot, get to know their characters more deeply, and develop vivid and engaging scenes. Each student gets individual feedback and we follow up with discussion in class.

“Most classes include a mix of students who are new to novel writing and those who may have several chapters, or even a complete draft under their belt. My goal is to help every student realize their creative vision. Usually the class becomes a wonderful support for everyone, and students complete it energized about their book.”



No Instructor Specified

  1. Monday, July 08, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  2. Monday, July 15, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  3. Monday, July 22, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  4. Monday, July 29, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  5. Monday, August 05, 7:00pm-9:30pm
  • Elaine is an excellent, dynamic teacher and very organized with materials and communications. Her critiquing of our writing was extremely valuable. In addition to her considerable experience, she has a gift for it. . . . I wish she could always be my reader, and would definitely take another course taught by her and recommend her classes to others.

    Adele Mendelson
  • I am a big fan of Elaine's classes. She immediately puts the novice at ease and her enthusiastic love of the craft is contagious.

    Rick Kelley
  • Elaine knows her stuff, obviously, and articulates her insights in an inspiring style. She respects how challenging writing is and accentuates that by constantly providing positive support. She is warm, honest, and helpful for fledgling fiction writers!

    Karolina Garrett
  • “Starting Your Novel” with Elaine Beale was one of the most useful classes I've taken. Elaine is the kind of teacher who puts everyone at ease, no matter what stage of their writing the students are at. Her critique, while incisive, is always positive and constructive, and that made me feel comfortable sharing my work in class. She is also generous with sharing her own experience of getting published. I learnt a lot from her insights into the craft as well as the business.

    Neha K.


Tuesday, July 9, 2019 @ 2:00 am PDT
Tuesday, August 6, 2019 @ 4:30 am PDT
Event Category:


2121 Bonar St, Studio D, 2nd Fl
Berkeley, CA United States
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Cancellation Policy

10 days or more before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 10% fee OR a refund minus a 20% fee.

3-9 days before the start date for a class, the registrant will receive a credit minus a 20% fee OR a refund minus a 30% fee.

2 days or less before the start date for a class, the registrant will not receive a credit or a refund.

The Writing Salon cannot offer refunds, credits, or makeup sessions for classes a student might miss.

In the event of an emergency, we may consider a refund or credit, whether partial or full. We review these requests on a case-by-case basis, and we ask that you notify us as near as possible to the start date for the class.

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