Build-A-Book: A step-by-step primer on building a book

11 Lessons in Plotting and Drafting

You're writing a book...but suddenly...

  • You're stuck because you don't know where to take your characters next.
  • Or, your plot feels dull
  • Or, egads, you see another book just like it come out!
  • And you just wish you knew your hard work was producing a book that will sell.

I understand. Having written 50 books, I promise you, I encounter those thoughts in every single book. But, after fifty novels, I have found a few tricks on pushing through, getting the words on the page and making sure I'm creating a powerful story.

Would you like to learn my secrets? Watch a book come together, see how I wrestle through these plot and character issues, layer the plot onto the page, weave in emotions and create tension?

Then the Build-a-Book series if for you!

In this class, build a book with me, RITA award-winning, best-selling novelist Susan May Warren. I will bring you inside the storycrafting process, teaching you how to create characters, a plot, develop conflict, the black moment, the epiphany and finally… the happy ending.

Experience the creation process, watch the decisions that plot each step of our hero’s journey, learn the nuances of crafting a story, and get the tools to write your own novel.

At the end of the series you can read the book we created together! I’m really excited to share my secrets and let you peek behind the curtain.

You too can Build-a-Book.

The Build-a-Book project is a video series of 11 Lessons that follow Susan’s plotting and drafting of You Don’t Have to be a Star. Susie explains the decisions and that go into her draft of the novella, and teaches different techniques she employs. Originally aired live, these lessons form a primer that you can follow to brainstorm, plot, and draft your novel. You'll get a a copy of You Don’t Have to be a Star. Included in the course are the video recordings and PDF notes for each of these sessions:

  • Build-a-Book Lesson 1: Brainstorming Your Best Idea
  • Build-a-Book Lesson 2: Plot Your Chatacter's Journey
  • Build-a-Book Lesson 3: Creating a Powerful Story Arc
  • Build-a-Book Lesson 4: Get the Story on the Page
  • Build-a-Book Lesson 5: Chapter 1 - Secrets to Starting Your Story!
  • Build-a-Book Lesson 6: Chapter 2 - Tools for Hooking Your Reader!
  • Build-a-Book Lesson 7: Chapter 3 - How to Build the Noble Quest
  • Build-a-Book Lesson 8: Chapter 4 - Keep Your Momentum
  • Build-a-Book Lesson 9: Chapter 5 - Emotional Layering
  • Build-a-Book Lesson 10: Chapter 6 - Show Versus Tell
  • Build-a-Book Bonus Lesson: The Final Chapters - Creating the Happy Ending


Your Instructor

Susan May Warren
Susan May Warren

Hi. I'm Susan May Warren. I started writing while I lived in Siberia (yes, you heard that right--cold, snowy, Siberia). Alone. No one to help me, overwhelmed and not a little discouraged. Twenty years later, I've published over 80 books in five different genres, have landed on numerous bestseller lists (including USA Today bestselling), won the RITA, CHRISTY and CAROL awards (and others) and started a school for novelists.

I've learned a few things along the way (beyond techniques on how to stay warm in the tundra!) Most importantly I learned that if I wanted to be published, I had to figure out how to write a book, how to edit it, how to step back from my stories, look at them with a critical eye, figure out what a good manuscript looks like, and then use my unique voice to make that happen.

First, write a good book. Then, learn how to sell it.

This is the foundation of NovelAcademy. Learning. Editing. Growing...Getting published and Staying published.

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.

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