I got an SPAMish e-mail from the National Novel Writing Month folks offering me a discount on an online writing class with some university where Joss Whedon evidently went to school. All due respect to higher education and all, but I am perplexed by this (Mr. Whedon writes novels?) That's what I get for subscribing to their newsletter, I suppose.
I don't think you should have to pay anyone to learn how to write novels (disclaimer: I never did.) The reason I started PBW was to share what I know and learn about writing with others who are self-taught like me, and/or who can't afford to pay for education. So here are free writing resources from the PBW archives for anyone who wants to prep for NaNoWriMo:
Characters: You can get a mini crash-course in how to craft characters in my post about stand-out characters here, and a fun way to create character references by using my Character Trading Cards idea.
Outlining: Check out this post for everything you ever wanted to know about novel outlining, including a link to my Novel Outlining 101, the most popular post of all time at PBW.
Plot: Plotting with Purpose is an online workshop I did ten years ago that still holds true to everything I do today.
Setting: My workshop post Food and Fire gives some insight as to how I work (and often struggle with) writing settings.
Style: I even did a virtual workshop on writing style here.
If you do a keyword search here at PBW you'll likely find a post about almost anything to do with novel writing, too, and with workshops I usually include links to other authors' opinions on the topics. You can also use keywords and research 40K articles on writing over at Hiveword's Writer's Knowledge Base.
I'm also in for writing a novel in November, and once the NaNoWriMo site opens for the 2017 challenge I'll see what group options there are so those who want to join me can congregate together all during those crazy thirty days. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer to the kick-off on November 1st.