Module 1: How It Feels to Read a Good Book

Module 1

Before we starting planning our novels, here are the quickest ways to improve your writing: care, projects, and a focus on characters.

Module Structure

The Power of Care 11 Lessons

Watch This First: a Guide to the Highlights of this Course!

A welcome message + guided tour: all the ways you can use this course to improve your writing.

The Benefits of “Character-First” Writing

There are three core principles to character-first writing. They may surprise you!

You might need MORE story

Sometimes people think, when I talk about character-first writing, that I want them to write a BORING story where nothing happens. That's not the case, fortunately! In fact, I often tell coaching clients to add MORE story to their novel outlines.

How to Plan the (“Messy”) Middle of your Novel

Here's a preview of what's coming: how to use "character-first" plotting to work through the "messy" middle of your story. This is an element of the course that writers love the most: you can conquer your fear of the long "second act" of your story.

Log In to View Lessons

The Problem: Why Is Plot So Hard?

Let's get serious. Why is a course like this so valuable?

Log In to View Lessons

Why You Need “Care”

They didn't teach you this!

Log In to View Lessons

Plot = Care Changing Over Time

Plot isn't about events. It's about shifts in care.

Log In to View Lessons

Project vs Mood

Major characters should have a "project."

Log In to View Lessons

The Danger of Dropping Care

It's SO easy to do this. And it makes your readers give up on your novel.

Log In to View Lessons

Writing a Novel Character-First

Start your reader with a character.

Log In to View Lessons

PS Can Writing Be Taught? (+ reading list)

Can writing be taught? How seriously should you take the advice from this course?

Log In to View Lessons

The Building Blocks 6 Lessons

The Goal

All right. What kind of book do we actually want to write in this course? What will the reader feel while reading it?

The Dragon’s Toe: Exposition and Mystery

The key to exposition is to sprinkle it lightly — very lightly — at the start. Here's how...

Building the A-Plotline

Here's how to start your novel: with several scenes devoted to your protagonist's "project."

Bonus: What if I can’t do A?

A few frequently asked questions about the A plot-line.

Bonus: Prompts to Develop Your Protagonist

Nine questions to help you develop your protagonist and build your A plot-line.

Scene and Satellite

This is how we convey to the reader all the information they need to enjoy, understand, keep reading your novel.