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PLOTTING THE NOVEL - Novel Writing Master Class 3

How to plot a novel readers can't put down

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Learn how to plot and structure your novel in this eight-week master class, taught by a New York Times bestselling author and veteran writing teacher.

Whether you're writing a sprawling literary novel, a compact detective novel, a YA novel, or a nail-biting thriller, you need to understand plot.

In this course, we'll dive deep into character and situation, focusing on how to craft convincing plot twists. You will learn how to use a story chart to flesh out scenes, characters, and subplots. Learn how to use narrative craft to keep readers turning pages, and discover how chapters fit into the bigger picture. Understand the secrets of pacing, pattering, and suspense.

You'll get weekly video lectures, written lessons, and assignments to help you put what you've learned into action.

HOW IS THIS COURSE DIFFERENT from other online courses in novel writing?

In PLOTTING THE NOVEL, we focus on the nuts and bolts of novel plot. You'll walk away with solid, practical information on how to create your story arc, how to write your first chapter, how (and when) to introduce plot twists, how to construct a subplot, and where exactly the climax fits into the novel.

While other courses offer a broad overview of novel writing, this course will help you figure out, step by step, how to craft a plot that keeps readers turning pages.

Includes 10 video lessons, 8 written lessons, novel planning worksheets, a story chart template, a workbook, and ongoing discussions.

Course Structure: Each week, you'll receive instructional videos, a written lecture, and an assignment. You can access the materials at any time once they go live, so if you're away for a week, you'll be able to catch up. I'll send out weekly emails to help keep you on track.

You'll receive your first module as soon as you sign up. Each week, you'll receive a new set of lessons and assignments.

Goals and Outcomes: You will leave this class with a clear understanding of various methods of plot development, as well as a map for completing your book.

Origins: I designed the lectures based on my experiences writing and publishing five novels, including a New York Times bestseller, as well as teaching for many years in Masters of Fine Arts programs in Creative Writing. Over the years, through thousands of hours of trial and error, I have learned how to craft a plot that attracts publishers and engages readers. In this course, I share those techniques with you.

This course is available either with or without critique. If you opt for critique, you will submit up to 10,000 words of your novel for critique from the instructor at the end of the course. If you're not sure you want critique, you can enroll in the non-critique option and add the critique at any time.

All students have access to all video and written lectures, as well as discussion forums.

This course is suitable for writers who want to begin a novel or continue work on a novel-in progress.

PLOTTING THE NOVEL is the third course in the Novel Writing Master Class Series. You can enroll in one course at a time, or save by enrolling in the entire series.

Do you want to learn the basics of narrative craft before jumping into a novel? Start with MASTER THE SHORT STORY, an 8-week course in which you'll learn the fundamentals of narrative craft and write a story for publication


Class Curriculum


  Week 6: The Big Shift: Climax and Crisis Action
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Your Instructor


Michelle Richmond
Michelle Richmond

Michelle Richmond is the author of four novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Year of Fog, and two story collections, including Hum, winner of the Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize, and The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress, winner of the Grace Paley Prize for Fiction. Her new novel will be published in 2017, with foreign editions forthcoming in 27 languages. She has taught in the MFA programs in creative writing at the University of San Francisco, California College of the Arts, St. Mary's College of Moraga, Bowling Green State University, and Notre Dame de Namur University, where she held the Catherine Julie Cunningham Chair. She has also taught novel writing online for Stanford Continuing Studies. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami, where she was a James Michener Fellow. She is the founder and publisher of Fiction Attic Press.

Her articles on narrative craft have appeared in The Writer's Chronicle, Writer's Digest, and Glimmer Train's newsletter for writers, and her essays about literature have appeared in The Believer and Oxford American. Her stories and essays have also appeared in Glimmer Train, The Kenyon Review, The Missouri Review, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Lonely Planet, and many other magazines, newspapers, and anthologies.


Frequently Asked Questions


How long do I have access to the course?
You have unlimited access to this course for three months after the course end date.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact me within the first 7 days of the course for a full refund.

WHAT STUDENTS ARE SAYING

I needed those eight weeks with Michelle. I needed the kick in the pants, because my writer’s block was becoming a nuisance. I needed the camaraderie of other writers, to get out of my little cave. I needed to hear encouraging words from strangers regarding what I was doing. ~Joanne Huspek (Read her entire post, What I Learned From Michelle Richmond, on her blog).

Student feedback from Michelle's 2016 continuing education course in plotting the novel

Michelle Richmond was an inspired choice for this course. She shared insightful knowledge and personal experience from learning the art of plot herself. The lectures were well plotted themselves and were accompanied with podcasts and videos that added richness to the material and community to the group. The content was comprehensive and the references were spot on. The pacing was brisk and brimming with surprising and savvy guidelines.


I was amazed at the amount of material Michelle shared with us. She was extremely generous in finding relevant material online, in articles, and excerpts from books that were very helpful. She was highly organized.


I thought Michelle Richmond did an extremely wonderful job in creating an inspiring learning environment. She responded to questions and comments efficiently and her suggestions were knowledgeable and encouraging. I appreciated the extra effort she put into her weekly lessons especially the podcasts and videos. I would definitely take any other class she teaches!

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