Is This Course For You?

Aiming to write a novel but not sure where to start?

Writing a first draft but feel like your story sags in the middle?

Concerned about making your plot gripping enough?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, this course is for you.

Designed so you can learn at your own pace and fit novel writing into your busy schedule, it takes you from idea to first draft using clear, easy-to-follow steps. This approach works whether you like to outline in detail ahead of time, discover your story as you write, or do a little of both.

The course includes clear examples from popular and enduring novels and films such as Star Wars: A New Hope and Pride and Prejudice.

You'll learn how to:

  • generate and choose ideas with enough conflict to thrill you and your readers
  • build characters and conflicts that make your story exciting and engaging from the start
  • understand and create 7 key major plot points that keep readers turning pages
  • get past common blocks to finishing your first draft and
  • have fun while doing it

Perhaps most important, How To Plot Your Novel: From Idea To First Draft walks you through what should happen in the middle of the novel – that spot that many writers approach with dread.

Scroll down to enroll, see the full course curriculum, watch a preview, or find out more about the instructor.

What Other Writers Say About How To Plot Your Novel: From Idea To First Draft:

If you want to actually finish your novel, instead of constantly re-hashing the first chapter, it is a blueprint for success.

  • Gillian DiCarlo Gott

I often thought about writing a novel but had no idea how to start or what to do in the middle of the story. This clear, easy-to-follow course showed me the way.

  • Steven M. Levy

Rock-solid support for a writer through a step-by-step process in the huge and sometimes overwhelming project of drafting a novel plot.

  • Cathy Robinson

Enroll Now In How To Plot Your Novel

Your Instructor

An author, attorney and legal writing professor, Lisa M. Lilly founded Writing As A Second Career to share information on fiction writing, publishing, and marketing with people who juggle creative writing with working other jobs or careers.

She is the author of the Q.C. Davis Mysteries and the bestselling four-book Awakening supernatural thriller series.

Writing as L. M. Lilly, her non-fiction guides for writers include, among others, Super Simple Story Structure: A Quick Guide To Plotting & Writing Your Novel; The One-Year Novelist: A Week-By-Week Guide To Writing Your Novel In One Year; and Creating Compelling Characters From The Inside Out.

She also hosts the podcast Buffy and the Art of Story where she delves into the story elements of Buffy the Vampire Slayer one episode at a time.

What she says about her early attempts at novel writing:

"My first novel (never published) didn't tell a clear, engaging story. When I wrote my second, I again spent much of my very scarce free time writing and rewriting vivid scenes I later had to cut. Finally I realized that despite a college degree in creative writing, I'd never learned how to plot. I made it my mission to learn everything I could about story structure. That determination led to writing two bestselling plot-based series and a passion for sharing what I learned so other writers could avoid my trial and error (and error and error) approach."

Lisa M. Lilly Author