taking applications for July 2022

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

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

Would you like detailed one-to-one coaching for your novel?

We just talk on the phone (yes, I know -- old school), over four or five sessions, until your book is planned out. You don't need to commit to endless hours of work in order to get a new vision of your book: instead we talk through the story and I help you re-structure it. Novel Development is good for people trying to start a new book and also it's good for people who know they need to revise.

(Why the phone and not Zoom? Because during each call, I'm thinking as hard as I can about your story, evaluating and re-imagining the different parts of the plot as we talk.)

Since I created Novel Development, I've worked with dozens of writers who are hard at work at fascinating, engaging novels. And the feedback from those writers is pretty clear: they love it. This is an established, highly effective program. It's simple and it works.

Some writers have said that the experience was better than working with an editor at a major New York press. They say I've changed their whole sense of fiction writing.

Novel Development is a month-long, one to one coaching experience. I open four seats (or fewer) each month and each participant has to complete a short application form, describing their project, before they can buy.

As soon as all the seats are taken, the program closes until the current round of writers are finished.

The program costs $797 now.

Let's talk!

Novel Development is about to gain new features and processes... while staying the same, low-intensity, high-reward experience for you.


How does novel development work?

Step one: Apply

Complete the application form: it will help me understand the story you're working on. I'll also be able to see how suitable your novel is for this program.

Step Two: Sign up!

I'll write back and, assuming your novel is a good fit, you'll be able to sign up and pay. I'll provide you with a more detailed questionnaire to learn more about your writing.

Step three: Our first conversation

We'll book a time to talk on the phone: during the first call, we'll talk through your vision for your story and how you see the plot developing.

Step Four: homework!

After each call, writers usually require a week or two to make notes and plan out new parts of their story.

Step Five +: Building out the rest of the plot

During calls two and three, we'll plan out the opening of the novel in scene by scene detail. And in call four, we'll plot the major turning points of the middle.

Final stage: You finish the program with a great writing plan

You'll end Novel Development with a clear plan for how to write and finish your novel.


Watch this review of novel development by michael noltemeyer

A picture of me, Daniel Wallace

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

If you are feeling stuck with a project, or not sure how to get started, it would be a real pity to get to the end of 2022 with no progress made.

And over the 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.

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."

Level Up Your Writing in 2022

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.

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.


"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 five-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.

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

Copyright - Daniel David Wallace 2022

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