The "call to adventure" guarantee

30 day money-back guarantee. no questions asked.

This course comes with the best guarantee I could create.

Why? Well, I know that many writers have mixed feelings about writing courses. Maybe you've bought a course in the past that wasn't well made, or which repeated platitudes you had already heard. 

The bad news is that these mixed feelings can leave writers in a state of frustrated indecision. You are eager to improve your craft: you love to write and you want to develop your skills to the highest possible level. In addition, many writers are stuck with their current novel, no longer making progress, unsure how to fix the parts of the story that they know aren't working well. 

That's why I created the "call to adventure" guarantee. I want to improve your writing skills and help you plan out a great novel, but I also want you to feel free to take action, with no fear or doubt. My goal is to give you the feeling of a heroic adventurer, taking that first step. Isn't that a better frame of mind for a writer, anyway?

So there is no risk in trying this course out and you don't have to feel conflicted about answering its "call to adventure." If you buy Plotting and Planning Your Novel and don't like it, just ask for a refund within the first 30 days after your purchase.

You won't have to explain yourself or give a reason. I won't even ask why you want the refund: I'll just send you your money back. 

30 Days


the course contains...

Course highlights and their estimated dollar value:

plot myths exploded ($100)

Video and written lessons that show you how to focus your storytelling on the moves and developments your reader truly needs.

The ABC Plot ($100)

The heart of the course: learn how to tell your story in four stages and three crucial plot threads. 

The Robot Teacher ($100)

More than a dozen interactive prompts that show you, as if you are having a conversation with a teacher, how to instantly apply the techniques to your own story.

Plot Inspections ($50)

Follow along as I break down the plots of the classic novel, The Age of Innocence, and the famous thriller, the first Jack Reacher novel, Killing Floor.

Mentoring by email ($50)

Guidance, reminders, and links sent by regular emails once you join the course.

in the trenches ($50)

Recordings of two masterclasses where I answer student questions and expand the themes of the course.

master dialogue ($50)

Additional lessons in chapter-writing (on dialogue and planning a plot twist) borrowed from the sister course, Writing Great Chapters.

Your "Quick Win" System ($100)

The capstone of the course: a framework to conquer self-doubt by writing the first thirty pages of your draft -- and have early readers, editors, and agents demand the rest.

secret reading room ($100)

A private discussion area for participants of the course where you can pose questions or ask for clarification.

The podcast version ($100)

Download a free app to your phone to listen to every lecture like a podcast. (May not be available in all markets.)

The "PErfect" opening pdf ($50)

A series of handouts to help you plot out the essential moves of your novel, from first page to mid-point crescendo. 

The Pre-writing manual ($50)

This handbook talks you through the lessons of the course as a series of questions and prompts, helping you develop your tale.

The abc Plotting manual ($50)

When you are ready, open the course's second manual, which turns your pre-writing into a sequenced story.

Comment badges ($50)

Earn badges and titles as you ask questions and share your thoughts, so the other students will know to respect you. 

planning template ($50)

Smoothly design your plot online with this beautiful Dropbox Paper template.

total estimated value = $1,050


Elizabeth R. Alix

Author of Maple Hill Chronicles

Tannis Laidlaw

Mistery Writer

Quenntin Ashby

Urban Fantasy Writer

The first day: how to start your book

Welcome to the Course!


How to Begin Your Novel


The problem with starting a novel

One clue: reading vs remembering

Trouble-shooting: What if I can’t find my real plot?

The Project – how to begin your novel

Bonus: the Project for Mysteries

Bonus: the Project for Space Operas

Case study: How to start a novel quickly without confusing your reader

It’s Time! Sketch Out your First Chapters


Bonus lesson: How to Design a Compelling Prologue

Bonus mini-module: the lightness project


The first week: how to use the character-first method

A Story That Reads Quickly


Weaving in the Real Plot - Quickly!

The Dragon’s Foot

Connecting Story Elements

You Should Narrate More


Scene and Satellite

The Wheel of Drama

Download the Pre-writing Manual (it's amazing)


Construct Your Plot With This Pre-Writing Manual

The first month: plot out your entire novel and start writing

The Heart of the Course: the ABC Plot


The Plan for This Section of the Course

From a Protagonist to a Plot

The perfect stage one opening

Plot Your Novel in Four Stages

Build a Knot at the Middle of Your Plot

Stage Four and the Staggered Ending

Optional: ABC Plot Troubleshooting, Tips, and Examples


Designing the Best Possible A: the Path to Success

Designing the Best Possible B

ABC Plot Summary: Killing Floor by Lee Child

ABC Plot Summary #2: The Age of Innocence

Internal Conflict to Drive Forward Your Story


How to Master the Middle: Your Protagonist's Three Mistakes

External Conflict to Keep Your Reader's Attention


Introduction to this Chapter

The Mid-Point Twist

The "All is Lost" Moment

Build in “Manifestations”

Add a Ticking Clock to the Second Half

Plot Twists and Mirror Scenes

Bonus: Be Careful About the Three Act Structure

The Plotting Manual - It's Time to Plan This Story Out!


Download this Manual and Create your Plot

Your Quick Start Guide

The Quick Win


This How You Get Started

Bonus Videos: Start a Novel from Scratch


Start with your Dream Story

Imagine the Best Bits

Picture An Unhappy Visitor

Now we use hints to connect the two

Sketch the Backstory

Begin the World-building Bible

Now Start Sketching out "Implied" Scenes

Wrap Up: Now You're Ready for the ABC Plot

Resources and Download


Collected Handouts, Downloads, Manuals

Conclusion, Your Certificate, and Next Steps



Send Off

Final Exam

Download Your Completion Certificate

Next Steps / How I Help Writers

Bonuses, live sessions, and acknowledgements

Live sessions


Daniel answers questions from participants in the course

Preview of the NEXT course: "Write A Great Chapter"


How to write dialogue

How to prepare a plot twist

Collected prompts and challenges


Prompts & Challenges

Build a Great Writing Routine + Better Writing Habits


Intro to this writing habits bonus section

How to Become a More Consistent Writer

Getting Over Perfectionism

Using Time Tracking to find more writing time