Students will plan, draft, edit, revise, rewrite, publish, and market their novel in this 40-week course (including breaks). They will also create a video book trailer as part of their marketing plan as well. (Some examples of student work are available on the teacher’s website www.thefrontierchristian.com).
“Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches… Therefore write the things that you have seen, and the things which are, and the things that will take place after these things.” — Revelation 1:11, 19
Where Did the Idea Come From?
From the time that I was very young, I used to love to make up and tell stories to whomever would listen. Many times this was only to myself, but I digress.
The idea for this course actually came to me from a book called No Plot? No Problem. This book told of a group of people who could help me get my story out to the world by writing a novel in a month.
You might (mistakenly) think that this is impossible, but the truth is that I know that it is possible because I have done it! Every year during the month of November, hundreds of thousands of people around the world write a novel. It is called National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org.) They define a novel as 50,000 words, which, divided over the 30 days of November, comes out to slightly under 1700 words per day, which, while being a commitment, is far from impossible.
So I thought that, if 100,000 people could do it, why can’t some of them be high schoolers that I am coaching through the process?
Here’s what 100,000 people do not do in a month, or a year, or in many cases, a lifetime: publish their novel. There are all sorts of reasons for this, but few are sufficient.
But you say to me: “Publishing is expensive/difficult/time-consuming/exclusive/etc.” That was before self-publishing moved beyond the realm of vanity publishing to become more mainstream. Taking advantage of this shift in the publishing world, as well as the low-cost, highly-targeted marketing methods enabled by social media, puts the author in the driver’s seat for selling their novel (whether they want to, or are trained to or not.)
So I saw coaching students with a story to write it, revise it, publish it, and market it to their generation, as a great way to empower them to tell their stories, whatever they may be!
What Adult Accomplishments Does This Course Coach?
- Written, published novel
- Eight different rounds of guided editing to create an editing resume and learn how to do it better
- Marketing plan for novel
- Video book trailer for novel
What Transferable Skills Does This Course Train?
- Outlining, crafting, and writing a story
- Understanding of character interactions, and how that would translate to the adult “real world”
- Ability to edit another their own and others’ writing for clarity and correctness
- Selling themselves to potential customers
- Market analysis to understand your potential customer/reader
- Convincing strangers to put money towards their ideas/dreams
What Careers Does This Course Give Me a Leg Up On?
- Author – Average Salary: $51,086 (https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Writer_%2f_Author/Salary)
- Book editor – Average Salary: $49,580 (https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Editor/Salary)
- Copy editor – Average Salary: $42,633 (https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Copy_Editor/Salary)
- Marketing Specialist – Average Salary: $49,221 (https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Marketing_Specialist/Salary)
- Publishing Manager – Average Salary: $60,478 (https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Publishing_Manager/Salary)
Why “0 Minutes”?
In talking with a number of homeschool families (and remembering my own childhood), I realized something important: families are busy! If I schedule a course to meet on Tuesdays at 9:30, then any family that has something else at that time cannot take part, and I didn’t want that. On the flip side, we have all done various self-paced self-improvement hobbies that did not end up doing any good because there was no accountability (New Years’ Resolutions, anyone?) I decided to get the best of both worlds: Weekly accountability with daily flexibility.
The students will have assignments that they must accomplish each week. They will also interact with me and with their classmates in chat type interactions. This keeps them on schedule to actually complete the amazing accomplishments that this course coaches them through. But they have the freedom, within the week, to choose when they are going to work on the assignments. I have tried to provide enough instruction to enable the students to do the tasks that they have been assigned, but I also understand that sometimes, there needs to be some more direct instruction to clear up misunderstandings.
To accommodate this need, it will be possible to schedule “office hours” on an “as needed” basis where I would have a live conversation with one or more students. There will be some expectations of the student when they are asking for “office hours.” I will give them questions to answer in order to make sure that I understand what their question is and can best prepare to make that time as efficient and effective as possible. Office hours will be scheduled based on mutual scheduling needs and availability, and if there seems to be a topic that everyone is having problems with, I will either schedule a class session to clear it up, or I will provide additional instructional materials.
I am committed to your student’s success. But rather than limit your family’s ability to take part in the course, I prefer to give your family the flexibility to have your child work on their schedule, as long as they are getting their work done by the Friday deadline each week.
How Would I Write This Course Up On a High School Transcript?
- As an English course, given the writing, outlining, research, and editing experience that the student gains through the writing, editing, revising, publishing, and marketing their novel.
- As a Business/Marketing elective, given the marketing planning, crowdfunding, and publishing process that the student will go through with their novel, as well as the video book trailer (advertisement) that the student had to produce.
- As a Fine Arts elective, given the storytelling process that the student had to go through, as well as the video book trailer that the student had to produce to sell their book to their audience.