This is a 3.5-month mentorship that will prompt, push, and hold you to your promise to write your NOVEL.
First up you need to know that I am a huge fan of structure and plotting. I am a book editor and literary agent as well as a writing coach so I know that all stories need the architecture to hold them for the length of a full novel. I will want you to give your story in a rough outline, so my first step is to get that down on paper. I have a very tight plotting method we will use. I have used this for 17 years and over 180 published authors say it works.
I know most writers need a few things to make real progress in their writing:
An experienced mentor to give you the right advice.
Someone to hold you accountable and make sure you get it done.
A place to ask experts questions when you get stuck
You are getting these three key elements in this mentorship. I set the targets and deadlines and show you how to move forward and write with clear focus and intent. This is the first step all writers must take down the path to publication. Without your first draft, you cannot progress to the next stage. So the first few weeks (yes weeks) are spent plotting and working out your plot points. Then you write to targets.
In 100 Days you will end up with up to 80,000 words if you do the work as it is laid out in the course. I have been running this course since 2003 in various forms and I can honestly say it is just fantastic.
It will teach you to write a novel and push you the entire way to your first draft with daily emails, lessons, and deadlines.
WHAT IS THE FORMAT OF THE 100 DAYS?
* This course is sent over email. I don't like video courses and this is not one of them.
* Every day for the first month you will be given a short 2-minute lesson via email to read.
* Each day has exercises that take you systematically through how to plot your book.
* At key points you will be asked to send some work for feedback and review.
* The lessons will show you how to plot your story, step by step, beginning to end, going over what the story is about, who the characters are, where the story starts, how it reveals itself, and how it ends.
* The format of the course will make sure your story is set up right (the beginning hook) and has the dramatic momentum (the middle build) to carry it through to a fulfilling ending.
* You start actually writing after Day 10 and then the course will take you deeper into advanced plotting, storytelling, characters, dialogue, style, theme, genre, and writing.
* Each stage of the mentorship has a task and word count targets for you to reach.
* You block book your own writing time when it suits you, using the prompts that I send you to know how far your writing should be at each point.
I also want to check right now that you are writing a NOVEL - you can be doing anything from a Young Adult novel all the way to adult novels. If you want to write another kind of book (like a memoir, biography, cookbook).
ARE YOU IN ONE OF THE WRITER'S BLACK HOLES?
1. The idea
It is so easy to get stuck on just the IDEA of your book. So many possible stories swirling in your head….. Should he be a banker, werewolf or a lawyer? Should it be a crime or a romance? Should it take place in the future or present day? Chicago or Germiston? Should you actually write about yourself? All writers have so many choices. Let’s get some focus. Your very first choice and task is to move what is simply AN IDEA into a PLOT. You have to make some very clear decisions and stick to them. I always say, “that all stories are just a series of thumb sucks”. That means you just come up with an idea… and run with it. Yes, he’s banker, it’s crime novel set in the future and the book starts as he lands a big client but knows he is going to pay in blood money. Now plot THAT BOOK. Do the work to make a plot and stick to it.
2. The first few chapters
And here so many writers get stuck. Some for years! Chances are it will all change in your second draft so just do your best in the first round and move forward.
3. 20,000 words
You reach 20,000 words and you have told your whole story. So common. But a book needs to be longer and you can see that now. What happened? Plotting needs to happen! A book is a long form and that is why we require a certain number of plot points to take your story to the correct length. We do the plotting / outlining upfront so you can't go wrong.
Paige Nick, author of A Million Miles from Normal , UnPresidented, This Way Up, A Girl Walks into a Bar Series
This is the course I did in 2008/9 and I wrote my first novel. I was sick of thinking about writing a novel and making false starts for years, so I took a week off work and did this course. By the end, I'd trashed the novel I'd been wheel-spinning on, and had a new idea. A month later I had a very dodgy first draft, which later became A Million Miles from Normal, published by Penguin Random House. Today I'm working on my 9th novel, and pretty much still using the same techniques Sarah taught me