A Novel Idea

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A Novel Idea. A Year Long Novel Writing Course.

You’ve always wanted to write a book.

Maybe you’ve tried Nanowrimo–maybe you’ve even knocked out 50,000 words once or twice. Or a dozen times.

Maybe you have a drawer full of good starts and no finished drafts.

Maybe you have some finished drafts, but you’re not sure what to do with them.

You’ve always wanted to write a book. What’s holding you back?

Maybe you don’t know what to write about.

Maybe you have too many ideas and they tumble over each other.

Maybe you’re not sure you’re good enough.

Maybe you’ve heard that most writers never sell their novels traditionally?

Or of those who do, the vast majority don’t earn a living as a fiction writer?

How about this one: the publishing industry is dead.

Or: no one reads anymore.

There are a thousand reasons not to do what you’ve always wanted to.

Here’s one big reason why you should do it anyway: You’re already a writer.

That’s right. You’re a writer, right now, as you’re reading this.

Even if you’ve never won Nanowrimo. Even if you’ve never finished writing the first draft of a novel. Even if you’ve written a dozen first drafts, but you haven’t been published. Even if you’ve been published, but didn’t make the big splash you’d dreamed about.

You’re already a writer.

Now all you have to do is write.

I can help with that.

A Novel Idea

A Novel Idea is a year-long course that will take you through plotting, writing, and editing your book, and then help you figure out what to do with it once you have it polished to a bright shine.

As you work through the exercises you’ll first turn the spark of an idea into something viable, then bring that spark into a fully plotted roadmap that will lead you through writing your book. If you’ve been a pantser in the past (working without a plot), you’ll love that A Novel Idea’s plotting workshop is intuitive and flexible. It’s easy to adjust the story if things change while you’re writing.

Once your story is plotted–and you have a plot board and synopsis to work from–you’ll start writing. The course is paced to allow you to finish your first draft in six months, at a rate of about 500 words a day. I’m a big believer in small goals–there’s no need to slam your first draft out in record time. If you slow down and learn the craft of writing as you go, you’ll end up with a first draft you’re proud of.

Once you have that first draft, you’ll set it aside for a few weeks while you plot your next story. Because absence lets you read your story with fresh eyes when you go back to it. The editing portion of A Novel Idea is three months long and walks you through the process of polishing your draft until it shines.

Here’s what students have to say about A Novel Idea:

Finding Shaunta and The Plotting Workshop, was the best thing I could have ever done for my writing. Before joining my plot lines were weak. Now I have a solid foundation and am working on Act 2 of my WIP.

The community that Shaunta has gathered from her Ninja Writers is everything to an inexperienced writer just starting out. The friends I have met by posting my prompts are amazing. Without their daily encouragement, I don’t know where I would be.

With Shaunta’s instructions and assignments you will have all the tools you need to sit down and create a book everyone will be dying to read! The only regret you’ll have is not finding the courses sooner!!


I feel like I have a better grasp on my story than ever before. Usually I jump right in with a great idea and it fizzles out because I haven’t thought through where it’s going, who’s involved, and what obstacles are going to arise. I love the process of discovery that happens when I write- about my characters, events and relationships that I hadn’t even considered- and I don’t feel like I’m going to be sacrificing that by plotting so thoroughly.


The Plotting Workshop has for me been a great experience and a crucial tool in planning my novel. It has helped me more than words can say, and I’ve made some great friends among the Ninja Writers too! I can’t thank this program enough! I’ve found it so helpful for making my plot concrete. It is really bringing all my ideas together and helping me to organize my thoughts and see what is pliable to the story or not.



I have a few goals for you:

  1. I want you to finish your first draft. All the way through.
  2. I want you to learn to write like a professional.
  3. I want you to build a solid writing habit.
  4. I want you to learn how to prepare your story for release into the world.
  5. I want you to build the writing career you dream of.

Of course, you don’t have to join us.

You can give Nanowrimo a try. Again. And add another 50,000 word almost-first-draft to your pile. Or get frustrated and give up. You can keep trying to figure it out on your own. There are whole libraries full of books that will help you do that.

But if you’re serious about writing and you’re ready to invest in learning your craft, A Novel Idea will give you a solid foundation and an engaged community to offer support and feedback that is absolutely invaluable.

A Novel Idea opens two or three times a year for registration. I hope that I’ll see you there. If writing a book is your dream, you’re already a storyteller. I can help you learn the mechanics that will make you a good storyteller and help you make the leap from wanting to write to being a novelist.

You can get a taste of A Novel Idea by signing up here by joining us for a live month-long plotting workshop here here: