The Library

Learn to Write the Novel Way: A Review

Learn to Write the Novel Way: A ReviewCarole Thaxton, co-author of KONOS Curriculum, has discovered an excellent way to encourage our children to write!

Intelligent students are not excited about grammar drills UNLESS they see their meaning within the whole.  In other words, the ingredients are not what make writing so exciting…Imagine your child writing a novel, a good novel, a novel that has appeal, a novel that is written correctly, a novel that is publishable.  This is for more motivating than writing a series of papers, which are later tucked in a file or thrown in the trash.  Learn to Write the Novel Way inspires students.

Carole Thaxton, Learn to Write the Novel Way

And that is the purpose of Learn to Write the Novel Way in a nutshell – to inspire students to write!

The objectives of this over 200-page book are extensive, and bold:  “By the end of this course, your student will have written an entire novel with excellent style, vocabulary, grammar, and mechanics.  All of these skills will transfer to his next writing project.  Look also for the smile when he presents a finished piece of work that he knows is stellar.”

Practically, by going though the process of writing his own novel, the student learns to practice and apply:

  • Grammar and spelling objectives such as subject-verb agreement, parallelism, correct use of pronouns, verbs and modifiers, spelling rules, punctuation rules
  • Composition objectives such as sequencing, paragraph division, word choice, active and passive voices, sentence and word variety, and using plot devices such as flashbacks and foreshadowing
  • Publishing objectives such as book reviews, the parts of a book, publishing terms, and presentation.

The course is divided into 13 steps which cover writing, revising, editing and publishing.  These steps are then arranged into two options – the slow approach taking one year, or the fast approach taking one semester.  (We always recommend letting the student go at their own pace – however long that takes – providing they are consistently moving forward.)

The parent takes the role of mentor, and works along with the student to “instruct, oversee the practices, and enjoy together the finished writing assignment each week.”  There is a separate Teacher’s Guide that contains answers to practice exercises and tests, and also helpful suggestions for becoming your child’s editor.

Learn to Write the Novel Way can be considered a complete language arts course.  Any areas in which the student is weak can be supplemented.  Resources are recommended in the bibliography.  An English handbook is always nice to have on hand.

Excellent writing is far more than just grammatically correct writing…. What else makes good writing?

An appealing story – Imaginative setting –  Interesting characters – Consistent person, voice, and tense – Cohesive theme – Plausible sequence – Vivid language – Strong, precise wording – Captivating action – Honorable purpose

Learn to Write the Novel Way focuses on these qualities from the outset.  After these characteristics are mastered, mechanical correctness is emphasized for refinement.

Carole Thaxton, Learn to Write the Novel Way

If you are time-pressed or in need of someone to mentor you in becoming a good editor for your students, you will appreciate this writing curriculum that results in a finished novel, covering all of the language arts skills, while the focus is on breaking down the writing process into easily manageable steps.

You can read more about Learn to Write the Novel Way at the KONOS Academy site.