Learn More: Design a Novel
Learn More: Design a Novel

Learn More: Design a Novel

You CAN write that novel! Society of Young Inklings will guide you through the process step-by-step. Over the course of six weeks, youth novelists will play their way through brainstorming challenges, problem-solving activities, and improvisational games with author, Naomi Kinsman, to create a practical, creative blueprint for their next novel.


Maybe you're like Avery ...


Maybe you, like Avery, are ready to challenge yourself to create characters with emotional depth and humor. You want characters you can believe in that will motivate you to keep drafting your novel all the way through "the end."

Or maybe you're like Sophia ...



Maybe you, like Sophia, have been inspired to write a novel that will change people's perspectives and make an impact in the world.


The big ideas in your heart and head matter. We'll help you shape them on the page into a novel you're proud to share.

I S T H I S A C L A S S ? W I L L I T B E F U N ? No stress or pop quizzes here. Also, no matter your skill level, you can enjoy yourself and produce great work in Design a Novel. Like all of our Inklings courses, Design a Novel feels more like an experience than a class. That's because we want you to roll up your sleeves and create, rather than over-thinking your work. That said, there are possibly a billion decisions novelists need to make in order to bring a new book to life. Instead of spending your time and energy figuring out what to ask and how to choose, Design a Novel walks you through the design process step-by-step. The best part? The activities will probably remind you of your favorite theater games—all without putting you on the spot.


After brainstorming and testing a variety of story concepts, each writer will choose one to develop. Next, we'll create a cast of characters, a detailed setting, and a flexible plot. At the end of Design a Novel, each writer will have a few introductory chapters and a solid plan for the rest of the drafting process.

Live Guidance:

When novelists join Design a Novel, they're also given access to the Drafting Workshop for three months. In the Drafting Workshop, novelists can share their questions and progress through a weekly check-in form. Our mentors respond with a personal video response to help novelists set goals and track their progress. The Drafting Workshop provides real-time support and an ongoing conversation that doesn't require calendar invites or scheduling hassles. We offer three sessions per week where writers can connect with mentors and peers live—most novelists choose just one of the three to attend:

⇢ Tues. 3 pm PT / 6 pm ET

⇢ Wed. 5:30 pm PT / 8:30 pm ET

⇢ Thurs. 4:15 pm PT / 7:15 pm ET

Course Schedule:

Other than the Drafting Workshop sessions, Design a Novel is completely self-paced. We suggest scheduling six weeks for the course, which is broken into six parts.


When does the course start and finish?

It starts now, and is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.

How long do I have access to the course?

For two years, or as long as the course is available on our site, whichever is longer. After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course - across any and all devices you own.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

I'm an educator. Do I have permission to share the course with my students?

Yes! As an educator, your access to the course is considered a classroom license. Should a colleague want to use the material in their classroom, we ask that they purchase their own copy. Additionally, should your students want to access the material at home, their parents should sign up independently. This policy helps us support students in their independent study, and maintain their safe interaction with Society of Young Inklings' online programs.

Still have questions?

Feel free to reach out to our team at info@younginklings.org.


W H A T W E ' L L C O V E R


Part One: Sketching Ideas

  • What Kind of Book Will You Write?
  • Exploring Ideas
  • Clarifying the Concept


Part Two: Crafting Characters

  • Developing Your Main Character
  • Developing Your Cast
  • Backstory and Beliefs

Part Three: Designing Storytelling Style

  • Point of View
  • Dialogue
  • Experimenting with Scenes

Part Four: Building the World of Your Story

  • Mapping the World
  • Culture and Conflict
  • Detailing Scenes


Part Five: Structuring Plot

  • The Hero's Journey
  • Scene Brainstorm
  • Plot Problem Solving

Part Six: Planning Your Drafting Process

  • Setting Milestones
  • Drafting Tools
  • Block-Busting Plan


⇢ ⇢ ⇢ ⇢ R E G I S T E R F O R D E S I G N A N O V E L ⇠ ⇠ ⇠ ⇠

H A V E Q U E S T I O N S ?

Contact us at info@younginklings.org