Let's Work Together to Perfect Your novel's Plot

novel development banner: togeher, we will design the perfect plot for your novel

Watch this review of novel development by michael noltemeyer

Do you want to finally get your novel planned out and structured, scene by scene?

Would it be exciting to see, on the page, the story you've always wanted to tell sequenced and laid out in an easy-to-follow outline?

Would you like a low-stress alternative to hiring a full developmental editor?

Did you enjoy Plotting and Planning Your Novel, and would now like to make sure you are applying those techniques to your novel in the best way possible?

tawni waters bio pic

"Daniel respected my work and vision on a profound level but also had a keen editorial eye and a stroke of literary genius that took everything I’d written to the next level.

Is it weird that I think of him as my literary midwife?"

- Tawni Waters, I.L.A. award-winning author of Beauty of the Broken, The Long Ride Home, Siren Song and So Speak the Stars.

A picture of me, Daniel Wallace

I'm Daniel David Wallace, novelist, teacher, & PhD researcher

It would be a real shame to get to the end of 2020 with your writing still roughly be in the same place you are now.

And over the last few years, the one thing I've found makes the biggest difference for people is to get detailed, one-on-one coaching / developmental editing.

There's nothing else like it: there's something so powerful about talking through your ideas and goals for a novel with someone who can ask questions, suggests small elegant solutions to plot problems, and who can then guide you to quickly sequence your imagined scenes into a great story.

It's even better when you've already registered for one of my courses. That way we can talk with a shared technical vocabulary and I can show how the course's techniques apply to specific moments in your novel.

People who have worked with me one-on-one say things like:

Martha: "Even working with a literary agency, going through rewrites, I had not received this level of attentiveness, this kind of sensitivity to the project at hand."

Jay: "I've signed up for many writing classes on the internet. Daniel Wallace is one of the best instructors I've ever had."

However, there's one challenge with hiring me for a full developmental edit: it's expensive. Writers who ask me to read and mark up their full manuscript, or to help them design a full outline, usually end up paying around one thousand dollars.

So lately I've been thinking: how could I bring the same benefits to more people? How could I give same results that Martha, Jay, and Katie describe to more writers?

testimonial image

"I cannot tell you how much I value and still think about your writing advice and strategies. The book I wrote after we worked together landed me my agents at InkWell, and back in May, we sold two YA fantasy novels to Wednesday Books/Macmillan. The first one comes out in early 2021!"

To other writers considering this course: Daniel truly has a gift. He’s one of the most patient and encouraging teachers I’ve had. He gives the type of feedback that energizes rather than discourages, the kind that makes you feel like you can rebuild your novel—and rebuild it stronger."

- Allison Saft, author of Down Comes the Night (forthcoming)

Julia Brown testimonial

"Not all good writers are good teachers, but Daniel David Wallace (a talented, thoughtful writer himself) is a terrific instructor.

Daniel is attentive to plot, structure, character, and other high-level narrative elements, but you’ll appreciate his ability to zoom in closely on language and sentence-level concerns.

If you can take a class with him, do it!"

- Julia Brown, editor and literary author

I've long wanted to create a course for you -- or, more accurately, a set package of one-on-one coaching help, that will:

1. Help you imagine, plan out, and develop the opening *quarter* of your novel.
2. Fill you with ideas, suggestions, and cool endings for the *rest* of the book.
3. Not cost you as much as full-scale editing / coaching.

Why the first quarter? Well, in my experience, the opening 50 - 80 pages of a novel are the hardest to get right. It's here that most writers struggle to sequence all their ideas, introduce all their characters, weave in their backstory and world-building. 

I'll work with you step-by-step so we can apply the ABC plotting framework from *Planning and Plotting Your Novel* to your story, building a plan for your book in as much detail as you feel comfortable.

(In the language of PPN, we'll plan out your stage one and two together, scene by scene, as well as discussing in looser, more relaxed form all the cool stuff that can happen in stage three and four.)

If you sign up for my Novel Development course, you'll end up with a plot that makes sense to you, which tells the kind of story you always wanted to tell, and gets you in a powerful, productive place to actually write and finish your novel in 2020.

"Daniel is a genuine problem solver – a story whisperer! Now I’m motivated and working on what is becoming my best work."

- Billie Tomlinson

Level Up Your Writing in 2020

Here's why you should be writing your pages, scenes, and chapters "character-first":

Avoid Info-Dumps and Slow Pacing

The hardest thing to get right, in a novel's opening section, is how you introduce all the cool stuff you want to include, and in what order. I'll show you how to bring in one aspect of your story after another, and I'll explain why we need to meet the protagonist's father (for instance) in chapter two, not chapter three.

Bridge Those "Plot Gaps"

When you've been trying to write a novel for a while, it can be easy to become so familiar with the story that you skip over some essential scenes, or miss out some appealing moments -- because you're so eager to get the story moving. Together, we'll uncover those essential scenes and deftly weave them into the story you want to tell. 

design a "calling Card"

In the writing world, the first fifty pages of your novel is your calling card as an author. You can share that opening section with subscribers on your mailing list, send it to agents as a sample, and use it to entice readers to keep turning pages. Together, we're going to design a fantastic fifty pages that will serve your writing career in many different ways.


"I had a story lurking in the back of my mind for the past two years, and I kept not writing it because I didn’t know where to start, much less how to tell the story as it deserved to be told. Then I had the chance to work with Daniel as a mentor, and the experience of Novel Development was an eye-opener.

He understood my idea from my initial ramblings -- not just what it was about, but also my style, my inspiration, my characters… and over the following meetings, he helped me discover the very best version of that story I’d been too afraid to write. And through it all, his advice remained true to my idea.

I know I wouldn’t have written this novel without his help, but it’s more than simply existing, the novel is now the best and truest version of itself."

- Ron C. Nieto, author of the Faerie Sworn series

A picture of me, Daniel Wallace

Daniel David Wallace

Creator of Plotting and Planning Your Novel

Your Teacher

Hi, I'm Daniel. I'm a writer, teacher, PhD researcher, and book editor. I create easy-to-implement techniques that help you master the craft of fiction.

I've given lectures on plot at the AWP conference and other writing festivals around the US, and my work has been read at the Iowa Writers Workshop. My fiction has won the Hodges prize, the Toni Brown scholarship, and I've published short stories and essays in many journals. In my regular life, I teach advanced writing skills at a great university. 

Since I started teaching online, I've worked with hundreds of writers as a coach and teacher. Over two-thousand writers subscriber to my newsletter, "Writing Related." 

I'm currently working with a publisher on a novel set in Taiwan: it involves unhappy English teachers and a ghost.

Copyright - Daniel David Wallace 2020

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