4-Week: Novel Bootcamp II—Your Novel's World

$205.00 Members
$230.00 Non-members

Writing a novel (or memoir) is a huge undertaking. Chances are pretty good that you occasionally find yourself overwhelmed by the project, lost, wondering if you started in the right place, unsure if you know how find the right ending, confused about just who your characters are, and daunted by the challenge of making your book stand out among all the other books out there. Don’t worry; help is here. The “Bootcamp” is a four-part series of four-week workshops designed to help you get a handle on the process. Take a single part or all four parts—each part lasts four weeks, with in-class discussion, lecture, writing exercises, and homework. Learn how to get started, how to organize and improve what you already have created, how to focus your voice, and, most importantly, how to finish your book! (Memoirists will find that the material in this class applies equally well to creating a memoir—the basics of crafting a book-length dramatic tale are the same for novels and memoirs.) Taught by William Haywood Henderson, MA, who has slogged his way through three published novels and who, to this day, continues to slog daily. 

Part II: Your Novel’s World – Your characters don’t live in a vacuum, with no jobs, no landscape beyond the confines of their homes, no sense of the time period or history or community or planet they inhabit. We’ll explore your book’s world, from the scent of the air to the grid of the streets, from the politics to the art. Each layer of richness you discover will open possibilities for the meaning and metaphor necessary to give your novel or memoir the depth and richness it requires. Your characters will inhabit a very specific world, and that world will challenge and shape your characters in unexpected, dramatic ways.


Please note that our four-week workshops do not include formal critiques, though there may be opportunities for informal sharing. If you’d like your work critiqued in depth, please see the eight-week workshop listings.

What participants are saying about the bootcamp:

“For two years I had an idea for a novel-length story building in my head. I did research, wrote down ideas, imagined scenes. By the second year it became a mammoth of imagination and entirely unapproachable. Then I saw that Lighthouse was offering a class titled Novel Bootcamp. Something that could help me break down the monster in my head into manageable pieces! Through this class I came to know in detail my characters, setting, and the arc of my story. I have an opening and 148 pages of a rough draft. It is the best class I’ve taken in five years.” —Christie Lips

“The materials, exercises, and instructor insights in this series of classes nudged me along, challenged my creative process, and pointed my story in the right direction.” —Ken Lutes

“In August, I had nothing more than an idea and did not feel qualified to even look at any class with ‘novel’ in the title. Emerging from the other side of this four-part series, I now have a working title, a fully-developed idea of the characters, a complete story arc, and even a handful of pages. The in-class discussions provide a lot of inspiration and the exercises really excited my imagination about my characters and the story. While the substance of the series is really helpful, Bill’s mix of patience, encouragement, and humor made it truly enjoyable. Even if you were not planning on ‘writing a novel,’ don’t miss these classes!” —Bridget McNeil 

Instructor: William Haywood Henderson Learn More


Feb 10, 2021 6:30pm - 8:30pmFeb 17, 2021 6:30pm - 8:30pmFeb 24, 2021 6:30pm - 8:30pmMar 03, 2021 6:30pm - 8:30pm