Writing is hard. Together is better.
Get expert writing tips, stories, and encouragement in your inbox every week, totally free.
We won't spam you. Unsubscribe any time.
It's time to write your novel.
Our most popular course gives you a simple, step-by-step path from a blank page to a full novel plan.
21 days. 21 exercises. Start for free today.
No credit card required.
Feeling stuck on your novel?
You may call it writer's block. You may find yourself procrastinating when it's time to write. Maybe you keep putting in the work but you're just not getting anywhere.
People who aren't writers don't get this, but if you're like a lot of the authors I work with, the problem isn't that you can't come up with any ideas. It's that you've got too many.
In fact, sometimes the characters and story ideas won't leave you alone, and that can be lots of fun. It's just that when it's finally time to nail it down into an actual draft it's...a lot. You have so many ideas and characters and notes that it's hard to know where to start or how to move forward.
You don't need more ideas. You need clarity.
That's where PlotHacker's Plan Your Novel challenge comes in. We've designed this 21-day challenge just for you.
This fresh, friendly course will give you an exercise a day for 21 days. The exercises typically take 20-30 minutes a day, more if you're thorough, less if you're quick.
Day by day, the course will guide you in deep, thought-provoking work designed to draw out the story behind your ideas. You'll systematically develop your characters, story world, and plot, but always with a focus on clarifying the heart of your story. Once you find what matters, you know how to focus your efforts.
The cure for writer's block, procrastination, and confusion is to know what story you're telling.
Until you know that, you'll constantly be stuck in uncertainty and analysis paralysis because until you know what story you're telling, you can't know what fits into it.
On the other hand, once you can articulate the heart of your story, you've got a guideline for making sense of everything else. Which isn't to say it's easy. Writing a good story is always work. But your work should move you in the right direction.
What sets PlotHacker's approach apart is that we're obsessed with helping you understand what matters to your particular story. It's not random "inspiration" and disconnected writing prompts.
It's a systematic, powerful technique designed to help you discover what your story's really about so you can focus all your efforts on telling it well. We've refined this for years and tested it with thousands of authors, and we're confident you've never seen anything quite like this challenge.
So how does this actually work?
This course consists of 21 daily modules (plus a couple extras). Each one is built around a question or set of questions for you to answer, along with some encouragement, story theory, examples, or bonus questions to help get you on track.
The modules build on one another day by day and should be completed in order.
You can answer the questions anywhere that fits your style: in a notebook, a file on your computer, or even in a project folder or Scrivener project for your novel. You can even re-use the course to get a solid start any time you're starting a new novel.
It's designed to be completed in 21 days, but you can go at whatever pace works for you. You can take extra time to really dig deep, power through a few modules a day, or whatever fits your goals and lifestyle.
Fine, but what sort of questions are we talking about?
The first few days start by pulling together the ideas you've had so far (or helping you come up with some if you're starting fresh). You'll cover characters, setting, theme, and feel. Unlike most writing prompts, though, these exercises are all about finding what matters, not just generating more ideas.
From there you'll develop a deeper understanding of what's driving your main character, both internally and externally.
By Day 11, you'll be able to articulate your story in a single, compelling sentence we call the Story Core. This gives you a clear filter for every story decision going forward — again, that doesn't mean everything becomes easy, but it does point all your effort in the right direction.
(Knowing your Story Core is also incredibly helpful for when it's time to pitch your novel. If you had 10-30 seconds to get someone interested in your story right now, could you do it?)
With that pre-work done, you'll spend the last half of the course fleshing your story out into a full scene-by-scene plan. The final week also introduces the powerful concept of Story Generators, an original technique that will help you come up with scene after scene while keeping your story on track and your readers hooked.
All right. I'm intrigued, but not convinced.
That's fine. We want this to get into the hands of everyone it will help and nobody it won't. You can try the first few days completely free, no credit card required, to make sure it's a good fit before you buy the course.
We also offer a total satisfaction guarantee. If you buy the course and don't like it, just let us know at [email protected] and we'll refund your purchase, no questions asked.
OK, this actually sounds interesting.
You have no idea. And nothing to lose. Honestly, even just those first free days can be hugely eye-opening. We humbly recommend you go try it out right now. 😁
Thousands of authors have taken the challenge. Here's what some of them are saying.
"I think this helped me to understand the story on a more fundamental level, which has actually helped the plot to make more sense." — Leah B.
"I really realized how much I liked writing. Signing up to this course was a not-really-thought decision, but I’m glad I did; I feel like I will have a lot of fun writing my story."
"You have to start. All the ideas floating in your head are great, but meaningless until you write them down!" — T. V.
"This is fun, and I'm excited to dive in deeper. And I feel proud. 😃 I feel so good about what I've produced so far, and today's prompts will continue to have value as I move forward." — Sean K.
"Seeing the protagonist in his first scripted fight scene gave me a lot of hope for the book." — Wade V.
"This exercise was crystal clear, and I really liked your specific prompts, as they have spawned ideas for more detailed scenes/world-building that equally contribute to the deeper narrative...This last exercise was like saving the icing from a delicious cake for the last bite - it was sweet! Thank you for the fun experience and also for the Scene Quickstart Module!" — M. V.
"Quite an interesting breakthrough actually -- the structure of this set of prompts allowed me to connect the main character's upbringing and lived-experience to the main conflict in the plot."
"Breakthrough moment when I realized that the story wasn’t just about these three characters, but also about how the effort of three individuals to become better ultimately catalyzes the improvement of the whole society which they live in." — A. D.
"It’s nice to go back to the original spark of an idea without the clutter. I’ve been stuck on the plot for quite some time." — Allie V.