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Novel Academy Membership

Because your Story Matters

  Enroll in Course

Classes. Coaching. Community.

The tools to get you published…and help you build a career.

Over 100 hours of classes on inspiration, brainstorming, plotting, characterization, scene creation, editing, pitching, selling, marketing, indie publishing, finding and keeping readers, interviews with the pros and much, much more!

PLUS

Access to our weekly member webinar (we call it a Peptalk!)

Sometimes you just want to ask a question. Or hang out with other like-minded people. Or maybe even get one-on-one help. Attend our Weekly VIDEO show – A Peptalk on writing craft or the Business of Writing!

PLUS

Exclusive Access to the Basic Writing Classes!

I remember the first time I got feedback on a story I’d written. “Overwriting.” “Flat characters.” “Unbelievable plot.” “Doesn’t draw me in.” I stared at the rejection letter, baffled. (While wiping my tears). I hadn’t a clue how to decipher the words on the page – let alone fix my story.

But, if I wanted to be published, I had to figure it out. We must learn to step back from our stories, look at them with a critical eye, figure out what a good manuscript looks like, and then use our unique voice to make that happen.

But how does an author look at their book objectively and make it publishable? You start with the Basic Writing Classes and build the right foundation for your novel.

Then...ask the big questions:

Does your PLOT work?

The plot an intricate tangle of external goals and obstacles, twined with internal wants and problems. The want must push the character into the plot, at the right moment, ignited by the inciting incident, toward a goal. But standing in the way of that goal are obstacles, both external and internal, which conspire to cause the hero and/or heroine to take a good look at, and overcome, their problem, through the process of character change.

So they can do something at the end they can’t at the beginning and, well, save the day. Or live Happily Ever After. Preferably, both. We call this the “Push-Pull PLOT.”

When assessing your story, the first stop must be untangling that plot to look at all the pieces to make sure each is solid before re-building. That means an understanding of PLOT structure, how PLOT works in the life of the Character, digging down into Character to understand their unique role in the story, and laying out the story in the right rhythm.

But you can’t stop there.

Does your CHARACTER grow?

Beyond creating the right “Push-Pull” PLOT/rhythm of your story, you much create a Character who lives beyond the page through your reader. A character must be at once inspiriting, yet believable. Broken yet brave. Willing to go on the “journey” of the story, regardless of personal cost. And, on that journey, he must face his demons, confront his worst fears…and change. It’s this compelling journey and change that a reader takes with them after the book is finished.

The second step in your journey is diving deep into your character, understanding the key elements that make him tic (We call this the Dark Moment) and weaving this journey subtly into the plot.

We call this The Story Equation and it is the secret to creating a unique and powerful story. In the Novel Academy, you'll learn how to use this powerful method for a unique and compelling story.

However, without compelling SCENES, your story will go nowhere.

Do you have the right SCENE Rhythm and Structure?

The plot is simply the framework; the characters are the players. A great story is revealed scene by scene, in the right rhythm, to give the reader a powerful emotional response (as my friend Randy Ingermanson is known to say.)

Scene rhythm is accomplished by understanding the types of scenes, then understanding how to set them up correctly for powerful execution. A scene must be embedded with the right storyworld, dialogue and action to evoke the emotional response in the character, as well as the reader, it must cause the reader to want to turn the page to the next scene…and it must be shown, not told.

We teach authors how to go scene by scene to analyze and fix their stories – much like a designer might design each room in a house to flow together.

But that’s not all.

Do you tell the story in your voice?

Readers are drawn to an author’s voice – the personality plus the prose on the page. Once the story is built, with the correct characters, and the scenes lined up properly, it must be overhauled, word by word, to eke out the author’s voice. This means grappling with grammar principles, and applying word-smithing skills. An author must understand the power of description, how to weave in the right character information (versus backstory), and what overwriting looks like.

They must also learn how to draw out the metaphors to embed the scenes into their reader’s hearts.

This is how you take your writing from good…to great.

Some of the lessons covered:

  • Building your Character Identity: Who are you?
  • Charting the Inner Journey: Lie Journey Overview
  • Dark Moment Plotting and Characterization
  • How do you create the Happily Ever After Ending?
  • 7 Tips on Deepening your Character on the page
  • The Importance of Story Stakes
  • Creating Storyworld
  • Creating Character Emotions
  • First Chapter Basics
  • Storyquestion
  • Pitch/Hook
  • Plotting the Twists and Turns
  • Story Rhythm through Scenes
  • Push Pull Rhythm
  • Dark Moment Plotting and Characterization
  • Charting the Inner Journey: Lie Journey Overview
  • Story Rhythm through Scenes
  • Understanding and Creating Scene Tension
  • Plotting the Twists and Turns
  • Turning Points
  • Dialogue
  • Show Versus Tell
  • Active Description
  • Static Description
  • And...how to hone your VOICE!

But that's STILL not all!

We're not just about CRAFT but building your CAREER.

Learn:

  • How to pitch your book to agents and editors
  • How to create a proposal and marketing plan
  • How to INDIE publish your book, including back cover copy and when and how to publish
  • How to plan for a lucrative career
  • How to launch your book
  • How to grow your audience
  • How to create powerful series
  • How to find inspiration
  • ....and much much more!

Included Courses



Peptalks
Stay on top of your publishing career with peptalks on craft, marketing, indie publishing, and career building
12 Course Bundle
General Skills Classes
3 Course Bundle
Resources
Checklists, PDFs, and Infographics
Susan May Warren
What’s in Your (Story) World?
Create Powerful Storyworld!
Susan May Warren
$29
Cry Me a River: Creating Powerful Character Emotions
Learn how to layer in and create authentic and powerful character emotions
Susan May Warren
$19
7 Secrets to Deepening Your Characters
Learn how to build powerful characters
Susan May Warren
$9
The Big 10: The 10 Essential Elements to a Riveting First Chapter
Learn everything you need to create a powerful first chapter
Susan May Warren
FREE
Beyond He Said, She Said: The Art of Dialogue!
Learn how to write powerful dialogue
Susan May Warren
$54
Peptalks - Indie Publishing
Selling your own novel successfully
Susan May Warren
Peptalks - Impactivity
Susan May Warren
Peptalks - Writer's Life
Susan May Warren
Peptalks - Marketing
Susan May Warren
Peptalks - Pitching and Proposals
Susan May Warren
Peptalks - Romance
Susan May Warren
Peptalks - Scene Crafting
Susan May Warren
Peptalks - Plotting and Characterization (The Story Equation)
Susan May Warren
Peptalks - General Storycrafting
Susan May Warren
Peptalks - Brainstorming
Susan May Warren
Peptalks - Editing
Susan May Warren
Peptalks - The Story of With
Susan May Warren

Your Instructor


Susan May Warren
Susan May Warren

Susan May Warren is the USA Today best-selling, RITA, CAROL and CHRISTY award-winning author of over fifty novels. She's written romantic suspense, historical romance, chick-lit, contemporary series, mysteries, thrillers and her favorite--epic romantic adventure, both in the traditional and indie market. Acclaimed by readers and reviewers alike, she's earned starred ratings from Publisher's Weekly, Booklist and Library Journal. She is also the founder of Novel.Academy, powered by My Book Therapy, a school that teaches novelists how to write stories that make an impact, and to build amazing careers.


Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!