The Novel Writers Academy

Are you tired of being educated about writing?

Are you to the point where you don’t want another book or video about writing?

You don’t want another podcast or blog.

You just want someone who knows what they’re doing help you learn how to do it. You want to produce something.

Specifically, you want to:

  1. Develop a story idea that begs to be written
  2. Create an outline of that story that will keep readers on the edges of their seats 
  3. Write the tale in a way that transports readers

And do this all under the guidance of a pro?

If you want this type of training, get on the waiting list. 

Beyond Books and Videos

I’ve received a number of inquiries from new writers wondering if I taught any courses that could help them learn how to write a novel.

Normally, I tell folks I don’t have the time to teach a full-blown course.

Because I don’t.

I’m busting my chops trying to get my next novels out the door, including the one I’m writing with big New York Times bestselling author Larry Correia.

So I’ve always directed people wanting my help to the articles on my website and the presentations I give at conferences.

But the part of me that wants to help convinced the part of me that’s focused on getting books out the door that if there are enough people wanting help, it would be worth my time.

So I’m going to give it a shot.

However, I’m not going to do this like most programs where the instructor gives you a book and a bunch of videos and wishes you good luck.

When I was starting, I was like most people and very quickly got to the point where I didn’t want another book, video, blog, or podcast about writing. I didn’t want to learn any more about writing. I wanted to actually do something. And get feedback. 

I wanted an experienced author to teach me the techniques that worked. I wanted them at my side, taking me step by step through the creation of a real novel that resulted in some finished product.

I wanted to be trained.

Hands-on Help

Writing a novel is complex. It’s like building a house. And if you’ve never built a house before, you probably want more than a bunch of books, blog posts, and videos on how to do it. 

The best situation would be to have a friendly and experienced builder at your side, helping you put it together, training you how to do it as you go along.

So that is what I’m going to do.

I’m going to train folks who are willing to do the work. When they finish, not only will they be able to develop killer story ideas, sketch them out, and write them, they will have actually done it.  

There’s a difference between being educated about something and being trained to do it. Just think about it.

Do you want a surgeon who has been educated about surgery, or one that’s been trained to perform surgery at a mastery level?

A plumber who has been educated about plumbing, or one that’s been trained to plumb?

An airplane pilot who has been educated about flying, or one trained to fly in all sorts of weather?

If you’re like me, you want the ones who are trained.

Do You Want This Step-by-Step Help?

If the answer is yes, get on the waiting list. 

This does not obligate you to anything. It simply says that you are almost 100% sure you want to take the class, barring earthquakes, plagues of demons, or crazy in-laws.

Please note: I won’t be able to help everyone at once. To be effective, I have to strictly limit the numbers. And I’m going to offer slots on a first come, first serve basis. So if you’re interested, you’ll want to get on the list now.

Click here to get on the waiting list.

If you want more info, keep reading.

Is This Program Right For You? 

I designed this program for writers at a certain stage of their learning. Do these descriptions sound like you? 

  • You want to write a novel, but feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.
  • You often get ideas for a character, setting, or plot. You might even get snippets of scenes and dialogue. But they just never go anywhere.
  • You are tired of learning about writing, and just want someone who knows what they’re doing help you to do it. 
  • You frequently doubt yourself and feel like everything you’ve written is garbage.

If those feel familiar, then this program is designed for you.

This is not a theory class. Oh, we’ll talk about theory. You’re going to learn a ton of theory. But this isn’t about theory because I don’t care about theory. And neither, I suspect, do you. I care about developing an awesome story experience and sharing it with readers who enjoy it as much as I do.

So I’m not interested in talking about it. I’m interested in doing it. And having fun.

Which means that in this program you:

  • Develop at least 10 killer story ideas that beg you to write them
  • Create an outline for one of them that has all the moments you love and that keeps the readers on the edges of their seats
  • Write the first three chapters of that novel in a way that transports the reader

And when you finish your training, you’ll have the skills to be able to do it again and again. Because this isn’t a course about doing it once. It’s about training you so you can do it over, and over, and over again. It’s about helping you become a story machine.

This means that when you finish, you’ll be able to:

  • Come up with a story idea that works at the drop of a hat
  • Develop characters people want to read about
  • Transport your reader to the story so they feel like they are witnessing the whole thing
  • Keep readers on the edge of their seats
  • Deal with the gift of writers block (no, really, it is a gift)
  • Quickly figure out what comes next in the story
  • Get feedback from actual readers that actually helps you see what’s working and what isn’t (if you don’t know how to do this, much of what you’ll get from readers will be worthless)

This training program is about you actually improving your ability to generate story ideas, develop them, and then write them.

That means you need to not only produce, but also have someone who has the ability look at your work and guide you along. It means getting feedback.

So I will be there helping you every step of the way, teaching you the techniques and processes I use. And if you’re writing in a genre I don’t know as well, I will loop in working authors who are successful in that genre to add their two cents.

Fumbling in the Dark

I started my novel writing career when I received a three-book, $50,000 deal from a major publisher. I am now an indie author with books that sell thousands of copies each year to readers all over the world. I’ve had publishers purchase and produce my books in audio. I’ve sold story rights to foreign publishers. I love developing and telling stories. 

But when I started, years before that novel contract, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know where to start stories, how to develop them, or even where they were supposed to end. And I didn’t have anyone to really help me.

In fact, I remember asking one of my creative writing professors after class how you knew where to end your story.

He looked at me, shrugged, and said, “I don’t know. I just end them.”

I was all what the heck?

Back then writing was all a vast mystery to me.

I loved stories, but I was clueless about what they were, how they worked, and how someone went about developing and writing one. I had a lot of fun in those classes, enjoyed my writing teachers (they were all great people), but I was never able to write something that hung together and felt like something you’d see in a movie or read in a book you’d buy at the store.

But that didn’t discourage me. I kept at it. And over the years, I made a number of breakthroughs.

What I discovered was that there are three things you must learn to write killer stories. You must learn:

  • What stories do to the reader
  • How to generate those reader effects
  • Techniques for actually developing and writing the guided experience you give the reader

In this training, you’re going to learn those three things and the key principles for each, saving yourself all the frustration and discouragement that comes from trying to discover these insights by stumbling around on your own in the dark. With this class, you can cut years off the time it takes to learn how to write.

When you know these three things, you will be able to write stories on purpose, instead of by accident. You will have power over your craft.

You will see that instead of trying to remember a list of hundreds of “writing rules” or use “writing formulas,” many of which are nonsense, you’ll write by focusing on the simple and fundamental heart of what storytelling is all about.

Actually Develop a Killer Idea, Outline it, and Write the First 3 Chapters

Below is a more detailed view of the program. It consists of three courses. The lesson inside each course all require you to actually do something, not just watch. I won’t unlock the next lesson to you demonstrate to me you can do what the current lesson is trying to teach.

Write Your Novel Part 1: Develop killer story ideas

The first course teaches you what’s required for a killer story idea and trains you how to develop them. More importantly, when you’re done, you will have at least 10 killer story ideas that are begging you to write them. 

You learn:

  • What stories do
  • Your personal story type
  • The three main reader responses you must generate
  • The story engine (without this, your story goes nowhere)
  • What makes characters interesting
  • The vital THOM
  • The desire to gain or retain something specific
  • Formidable obstacles
  • What readers want in your genre
  • The 3 grunts

You also get trained on how to actually take that knowledge and develop the ideas using:

  • The 4 main principles that unleash your creativity
  • 5 super productive techniques for generating ideas
  • Job aids for developing setting, magic, characters, and story problems

Write Your Novel Part 2: Sketch the outline

Once you have developed your story engine, the next step is to sketch where that engine is going to take you and your reader.  The second course does just that, teaching you how to develop your story idea into a full blown plot with a beginning, middle, and end. When you’re done, you will have a story sketch (an outline) that includes all the parts you love and that will keep readers on the edges of the seats. 

You learn:

  • How to make the story hard to put down with trigger and delay
  • How to figure out what comes next
  • The number of scenes for your story
  • The story cycle of problem, reaction, action, result
  • Story turns
  • Uncertainty
  • Surprise
  • Trigger and delay in practice
  • Structure, and why structure models so often fail to help

Along the way you will also tear apart 2 of your favorite novels to see how they work so you can apply the insights.

Write Your Novel Part 3: Write your first three chapters

Once you have a sketch of the story, it’s time to write it. The third course teaches you how to take your story sketch and turn it into a final draft. When you’re done, you will have three chapters that grab the reader’s attention and transport them to the tale. 

You learn:

  • How to transport the reader
  • Narrative summary versus narrative detail, when to use each, and how to write them
  • The top description techniques that evoke the story in your reader’s mind
  • Writing point of view, hot and cold
  • Writing dialogue, action, and thought
  • Orienting the reader
  • Transitions

You will also learn how to test your story with actual readers. That includes:

  • The 3 key responses
  • How to get useful feedback

At this point, you will have all the skills you need to finish the rest of your novel with confidence.

Price

In this series of courses you aren’t going to simply watch videos or read books. You’re going to WORK. You’re going to WRITE. You’re going to define your type of story, surprise yourself by developing at least 10 solid story ideas that beg to be written (by you). Then you’ll select one of those ideas, sketch an outline, and write the first three chapters, using proven methods.

Most important of all, you’ll actually stop thinking about writing and be well on your way to finishing your novel with a clear path to the end.

Instead of dreaming about someday, you’ll enjoy the excitement of writing a novel right now.

Right now, I’m thinking each of the parts, which includes videos and one-on-one coaching, will cost around $399. That number may go up.  

Not for everyone

I can’t tell you how much I wish I had something like this when I was first starting out.

At the same time, you need to know that this class is not for everyone.

First, I only want to work with people who truly want to learn how to write and are in a position to do so.

This means you must be willing to make the time.

If you are not willing and able to make time to do the work I ask, you will find no benefit. It’s a waste of your time and mine. So save your money.

How much time will you need to spend?

Right now I’m estimating each course will take 10 hours per week for 6 weeks. Any less than that, and you’re going to find it very difficult to keep your creativity hot enough to make dinner. More importantly, you won’t be able to get through the project in a timely manner. I’m a working writer, and I’m only going to have so much time to train you, and so we need to make hay while the sun shines.  

If you want to actually develop a story, then you have to make time to do this awesome thing, just as you would if you wanted to learn how to dance, quilt, or race cars.

So if you aren’t in a position to make the time, I understand. Please don’t sign up.

Second, I do not read erotica, explicit sex scenes, or super dark horror.

If these are your genres, I can’t help you.

So if this is still a fit, get on the waiting list

Also, if possible, I recommend you take the course with a friend. You will progress so much more quickly when you discuss the lessons and insights and bounce your ideas off of each other.

Yes, I’m definitely interested!

If you’re interested, get on the waiting list.

This does not obligate you to anything. It simply says that you are almost 100% sure you want to take the class, barring earthquakes, plagues of demons, or crazy in-laws. And you want to be notified when you can register. 

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