Planning and plotting your novel PLus

It's your writing season

The next round of PPN Plus is full! Please sign up below to join the waiting list of the next round (later in 2022).

Give yourself a season to write your book: a season of community, accountability, individual feedback, and the writing tools you need to plan out and start writing (or revising) your novel.

Join our small-group coaching program will put you in the perfect place to write: you'll get the support, encouragement, deadlines, and plot lessons you've always wanted. 

PPN+ is like registering for a secluded writing retreat, and getting time to focus on your stories -- only you don't need to buy a plane ticket and you can continue your normal life, work, family, and hobbies. Each piece of the writing process is broken down into straightforward "milestones," so you always know what you are supposed to work on next.

a three-month writing class using ideas and techniques of the character-first method -- with two teachers to help you at every step

PPN Banner -- it's your season to write

PPN Plus only opens twice a year. It's a live experience delivered by me (Daniel David Wallace) and a co-teaching team.

Want to learn more and get first chance to register when the program re-opens?

How PPN+ Works

Plotting and Planning Your Novel Plus is your practical, get-writing-done, writing experience. I've broken down the process of planning a story and writing it so you can have a highly productive writing season.

Before the program starts

As soon as you sign up, you'll get access to my two most popular self-study courses, on plotting your novel and writing great chapters. I'll send you emails to try out the techniques and what lessons to focus on.

The milestone system

It's not easy planning out a good story and writing the first (or next) draft. This program's "milestone" system will guide you through the process, prompting you to create mini outlines of different stages of your novel as we work through our writing season. And each time you complete a one, our co-teacher will read your milestone and send you individual feedback, meeting you one-on-one to discuss if you wish.

Weekly writing classes

Each week, we'll meet to discuss our progress, give you a chance to catch up with other attendees, receive a prompt and short craft lesson from me or our co-teacher, and / or hold a workshop to give participants feedback on their pages.

Testimonial: How did the program get you writing?

Testimonial: What was it like working with the co-teacher?

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Here's the plan

  • There are 12 seats for this round / cohort. Eleven are already taken.
  • We will begin in late January: the program will end in late April.
  • As soon as you register for PPN+, you'll receive instant access to both of my most popular courses, Plotting and Planning Your Novel and Writing Great Chapters.
  • In January, you'll receive advice from me about how to study the techniques of Plotting and Planning Your Novel to best prepare for the start of the program.
  • The goal is to plan out and start writing (or re-writing) a novel.
  • The program is designed for stories in a wide range of genres and styles. The general intent is to help you write a compact, well-structured story that engages and fascinates your reader.
  • You’ll work through a series of “milestones,” or focused planning prompts, that will help you build up a great plot. In other words, you’ll submit a new milestone every few weeks, and then you’ll get feedback on those milestones to help you plan the next part of your book.
  • The program is based on the techniques of my plotting course, Plotting and Planning Your Novel. You’ll get life-time access to that course as part of the program. The milestones of PPN+ correspond to the plotting framework described in the course — this is a way to build or re-think your story, using those ideas, with the support of a group of fellow writers and expert writing advisors.
  • I will run the program with the help of a coordinator, Dwight, and a small team of co-teachers. My goal will be to assign you a sympathetic, expert co-teacher who is writing in at least a similar or adjacent genre to yours. This co-teacher will provide written / recorded feedback on each milestone you send in. they’ll also be available for a few one-to-one phone calls during the program.
  • I will oversee and advise on the feedback that the co-teacher is giving (they went through my PPN course and we almost always give similar feedback).
  • Dwight will make sure you can find everything and that your documents get to the co-teacher.
  • The program has guidelines for your schedule (when to send in each milestone), but it’s also flexible. Some writers move faster than others, and that’s no problem.
  • We will sketch and write as we go. My focus, in my weekly work sessions, will be to lead group writing sessions using the activities from my scene design / chapter course, Writing Great Chapters.
  • This is a program with a deadline: it’s not a membership or subscription with an infinite duration. The goal is to get writing! And so the program will end at the three month mark. The magic of a deadline is meant to focus everyone’s attention and keep our energy up.
  • We will have epilogue / reunion sessions afterwards, however!
  • This is a group coaching program and I will maintain, to the best of my ability, a supportive, inclusive atmosphere for all the writers in the group. We will support and encourage one another.

Testimonial: How the milestone System takes away your anxiety

Who this program is not for

I only want people to sign up who will benefit from the program.

PPN+ asks for a commitment of your time and focus, and so I want you to get a clear sense of how I designed this program before you sign up. Another way of saying this: I want to create a group of writers who have similar goals and expectations.

We don't need to be at the same experience level, and we don't have to be writing similar books, and some of us can be starting from scratch while others are revising, but we should all come in ready to work together. 

Here are some reasons a writer, or a writing project, might not be a perfect fit (at least for this particular round):

  • This is not primarily a workshop class. The program is designed so that you know exactly what to send the co-teacher, in what order (the milestones), and they’ll be able to give you targeted, specific feedback because that co-teacher will know what to look for. In our weekly meetings, we will sometimes workshop individual chapters / outlines / milestones, but the focus is more on creating rather than assessing. Now, if you and other participants want to share manuscripts during the program, that’s fantastic, of course. So this class is great for you if you are interested in a mix of craft lessons, accountability and guidance, and structured workshops.
  • (PS One reason why I designed the program like this: workshops, done well, require a lot of work for every participant. You have a large amount of reading to do every week. And while this works great for some people, many of us have jobs, families, and secret identities that already take up a large amount of your energy. So I designed PPN Plus to to be welcoming to all kinds of writers: you'll have a manageable amount of work each week, and your main focus will be on your own projects.)
  • By the same token, PPN Plus is also not a developmental editing or copyediting service. You will get lots of feedback, but the program is not designed for you to send over a manuscript to myself or a co-teacher and expect a page-by-page edit. The main reason is that we want this program to be a writing and working experience for you, and so we want to be able to get feedback to you quickly. I find that I can work a lot faster, and give better advice, when we discuss the outline / synopsis of a novel, rather than reading and commenting on a full manuscript, page by page.
  • (As I mentioned before: the program is designed to be a light, easy to keep going experience -- both for you and my writing coaches. So we compare outline ideas rather than marking up full manuscripts.)
  • This is meant to be a teaching / learning / creating experience. We’ll discuss techniques for writing a story, and then we’ll try them out, and we’ll discuss and assess each other’s ideas as we go. We’ll improve our plotting skills as we sketch out a novel. Now, sometimes a writer is more at the “I just want someone to polish the story I’ve written” stage — which is a fantastic stage, seriously, but this might not the best program for that person right now. You probably would be better off hiring a copy editor. On the other hand, if you are willing to take bold steps to improve your story, or if you are excited to just get words down regularly on paper / screen -- you will love this experience.
  • Equally, sometimes a writer is not ready to re-think, re-see, re-order their story, or accept (supportive) feedback on the pages they’ve written. Sometimes they just want to churn out words and write! That’s completely fine, of course, but it might not lead to a great experience in this particular program. This program is designed to get you asking, “What if I…?” about your story -- and then running with that new idea. If you are eager to learn more about your own writing, and discover the best way to write your book, you should sign up!
  • For some people, writing an outline and starting the first draft in three months sounds spot on. For others, it sounds a slightly too slow, or maybe a little too fast. Either way, it's no problem. The good news is that the program is flexible enough to accommodate a range of writing speeds. However, please contact me first, before you register, if this time frame sounds way, way off to you. If you usually only need three weeks to finish a novel, or you need at least five years to pick a main character, I admire and respect your process, but this program might not work out well, just because you will be out of sync with the materials / your co-teacher’s feedback / the group experience. If that’s you, no problem, but let me know and I can suggest some alternatives, or we can personalise this program for you in some interesting.

Our class was composed of people from all over the world so we got to meet fellow writers from all over! Everyone’s stories were different but we all participated in the process of plotting, character development, dialog, ideas.

-E. Wilmerding

It was an incredibly positive and affirming experience. Daniel has a lovely way of keeping us on track as well as helping us be as constructive and positive as possible.

-PPN+ Participant

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 six-thousand writers subscriber to my newsletter, "Writing Related." 


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Copyright - Daniel David Wallace 2021