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Writing the Fantasy Novel

Fantasy is an increasingly popular genre of fiction, and now is a great time to become a fantasy fiction writer! This course is perfect whether you have an idea for a book or even if you don't know where to start. With the tools you'll gain in this course, you'll be ready to tackle your first fantasy novel.

In this six-week course, you will learn what separates fantasy fiction from other types of fiction. You will also discover how to create characters and populate your world with unique, compelling, and interesting creatures. You'll learn how to outline your book, come up with a theme, and commit to actually writing. You will learn how to revise and edit so that when you complete it, your book will essentially be a finished product. You will even learn a bit about publishing your book, including the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing. Finally, you’ll get a number of tips about how to stay motivated and complete your novel - because, after all, writing is hard work!

6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
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Starting March 13 | April 17

Writing the Fantasy Novel


Details + Objectives

Course Code: wfn

What You Will Learn
  • Learn how to outline your book, come up with a theme, and commit to actually writing
  • Discover how to market and sell your book - including tips on how to market through social media
  • Examine the difference between revising and editing, and learn how to do both effectively
  • Learn techniques for incorporating a theme throughout your book in a seamless way
How the course is taught
  • Instructor-led course
  • 6 weeks in duration
  • Courses begin each month
  • 2 lessons released each week
  • 24 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Capitalize on the growing market for fantasy fiction by learning all the tips and tricks to writing and publishing your own novel
  • Gain confidence in your ability to create and establish characters that readers can’t resist
  • Learn how to stay motivated and complete any project through reasonable goal setting


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Week 1

Learn why this is such a great time in the market to be writing your fantasy novel. You will discover how fantasy differs from other types of fiction and the genres and subgenres that make up fantasy fiction. Then, learn the first of three lessons on world-building. You will examine the different types of fantasy worlds and what sets one type of world apart from the next.

Week 2

Learn the different ways characters can gain the abilities or magic. You will compare and contrast three systems of magic, and explore how to create consequences for the system you choose. Then, learn how to create the beings and governmental systems that make up the societies in your novel. You will consider what the common people might do in your novel and how they interact with other creatures.

Week 3

Learn how to create main and supporting characters, define their roles, and develop them in such a way that they jump off the page. You will discover how to create an antagonist that isn't evil just for the sake of being evil - but is a real character with wants, needs, and obstacles! Then, examine the pros and cons of outlining.

Week 4

Discuss the most common themes in fantasy fiction, and examine novels that use these themes. You will learn techniques for incorporating a theme throughout your book in a seamless way. Then, face some decisions you'll make about crafting your story, which point of view you'll use, and the grammatical tense you'll work with.

Week 5

Explore the writing process and discover what is reasonable for you to accomplish. You will learn about setting goals and creating personal rewards to encourage you. Then, examine the difference between revising and editing, and learn how to do both effectively.

Week 6

Identify and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to publishing. You will examine the process of finding an agent and traditional publisher for your novel. Finally, learn the importance of marketing and motivation. You will examine ways to use social media to market yourself and your novel.

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Instructors & Support

Laura K. Anderson

Laura K. Anderson picked up her first science fiction book when she was in first grade and she's been in love with speculative fiction ever since. She particularly enjoys writing fantasy fiction and is the editorial director for Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction. Laura has a Master of Arts degree in literature and creative writing and is currently working on a Master of Arts in special education.


Prerequisites / Requirements


There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
Instructional Materials

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


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When can I get started?

A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.

How does it work?

Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

How long do I have to complete each lesson?

The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

What if I need an extension?

The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.

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