Become a Patron for Darkness Reigns at Patreon!

I’m going to be writing my next book via a Patreon campaign and I want you to join me!


If you aren’t familiar with Patreon, it is a kind of crowd-funding service for creative folks, similar in some ways to Kickstarter.  But where Kickstarter asks funders to help make a one time pledge to get a big roject completed, Patreon is more of an ongoing means of supporting an artist or singer or writer (like yours truly.)  Backers pledge a certain amount each month and get charged when the creator delivers something to them.

This little video is terrific at explaining Patreon quickly and easily – take a look!


I’m going to be writing and delivering Darkness Reigns in what I’m calling chapter packs.  Each pack will contain three chapters from the novel.  You can get these packs for as low as a single dollar ($1.00). Doing so will also entitle you to the ebook edition when the project is complete.  The final book will be about 30 chapters and 300 pages in length (similar to all the other Templar books) so you end up paying around $10 in the end if you chose the $1.00 pledge level.  But you’ll get to read the book before anyone else and you won’t have to wait until I’m done to get your Templar fix!

There are other pledge levels beyond that.  $5.00 a chapter pack gets you a signed paperback when the project is complete. $10 a chapter pack lets you see behind-the-scenes, where I’ll be sharing all the materials that go into producing the book, from my initial scene list to my chapter outline, all the way through the rough draft and to the final edited manuscript.  At this level I’ll also record a video each month, explaining background information and the reasons behind the various choices I’m making as I write the book.  If you’re serious about a writing career of your own, the $25 and $100 pledge levels give you group and one-on-one coaching to discuss your own projects.

Backers don’t get charged anything until I send each chapter pack, so if something happens during a particular month you won’t spend a dime.

In addition to the pledge levels there are various milestones that unlock additional elements for the project – commissioned cover art, professional editing, an exclusive Templar short story that won’t be available anywhere else for at least a year, etc.  The very first milestone ($300) is the most important one, because that’s the point when I sit down and start writing!

I understand that not everyone will want to be my patron, so rest assured that the book will be available in all the usual formats from all the usual vendors once it is complete.  The Patreon campaign is for those who want to read it sooner than everyone else – and who want a glimpse behind the scenes to see how it all comes together!

The campaign is now live and you can find it at

The sooner we hit that first milestone, the sooner I start writing, sp please support the project if you can.


Structuring Your Novel Class starts Thursday – Still Time to Sign up!



Building a novel is like building a house. It’s only going to stand up if you start with a strong foundation.

In order to deliver the powerful emotional experience readers crave, you need to manage the conflict like a master architect. All the pieces need to be in the exact right place. And in order to do that, you have to understand your story at a structural level.

Joseph Nassise is the author of more than 20 novels. He’s seen success in both traditional and self-publishing. He’s written critically-acclaimed, internationally best-selling books, like the Templar Chronicles series. The dude knows how to write a book.

And he’s here to show you how.

This workshop will teach you the elemental structure that is at the core of every successful story. It’ll teach you how to adapt that structure to your work-in-progress, laying down the necessary foundation—and increasing its chance of success in the marketplace—letting you move forward with confidence.

In this class, you’ll get in-depth written lectures, homework assignments that’ll be critiqued by Joe and your classmates, and opportunities to pick Joe’s best-selling brain along the way.

* Because this class runs through the holiday season, assignment deadlines will be flexible, and extra time will be built into the schedule if required.




What This Class Covers

Lesson One – Overview

  • Understanding the Inherent Foundation of Your Story
  • Novel Structure and Reader Expectations
  • The Importance of Conflict
  • Heroes and Villains
  • 7-part novel structure plan

Lesson One Homework: Analyze a favorite book or movie using the 7-part story structure.

Lesson Two – Heroes, Villains, and Everything Between

  • Understanding Your Hero
  • Understanding Your Villain
  • How Your Conflict Impacts Both
  • Scenes and Chapters

Lesson Two Homework: Sketch out your hero, your villain, and the central conflict between them. Identify the Game Changing moments in your story.

Lesson Three – The Setup Phase

  • Setting Up the Story World
  • Setting Up Your Characters
  • Setting Up Your Conflict
  • Game Changer #1

Lesson Three Homework: Make a list of all the anticipated scenes in your novel. Divide them into the four sections of the story structure. Organize the Set-Up scenes into proper order, ending with Game Changer #1.

Lesson Four – The Reactive Phase

  • Hero’s Response to the Game Changing Event
  • The Importance of the Hero’s Loss of Control
  • Villains – the First Glimpse
  • Game Changer #2

Lesson Four Homework: Organize your Reactive Phase scenes into the proper order. Add additional scenes if necessary. End with Game Changer #2. Review scenes to be certain that they are all reactive and not proactive.

Lesson Five – The Proactive Phase

  • Try, Try, and Try Again
  • The Relationship between Story Tension and Story Stakes
  • Villains – the Second Glimpse
  • Heroes Must be Heroic
  • The Black-Night-of-the-Soul Moment
  • Game Changer #3

Lesson Five Homework: Organize Reactive Phase scenes into the proper order. Identify the “dark-night-of-the-soul” scene. Be sure stakes are raised each time the hero fails.

Lesson Six – The Resolution/Climax-of-the-Story Phase

  • What Makes a Satisfying Ending?
  • The Final Confrontation
  • Meta-arcs and Resolutions
  • Putting it All Together

Lesson Six Homework: Complete the roadmap of the entire story. Review to be certain the four sections of the story structure are balanced; adjust, if not. Use the scene list to write a present tense summary (synopsis) of the entire story.

Goals Of This Class

  • Learn about the building blocks of a novel from a best-selling author
  • Take your idea and build a strong foundation so you can move forward
  • Work with your instructor and your students toward producing the best work possible
  • Identify the major turning points of your story
  • Ensure the conflict is powerful enough to carry the tale before you start writing
  • Develop a written scene-by-scene roadmap of your story
  • Use that roadmap to produce a complete synopsis of the entire novel



2015 Your Novel Year Mentor

Piper Center LogoI’m extremely pleased to announce that I will be one of the professional mentors for the Science Fiction and Fantasy track of the 2015 Your Novel Year writing program at Arizona State University’s Piper Center for Creative Writing!

This is a fabulous program for anyone interested in writing a novel for professional publication.  The course is 18 months long – you spent the first 12 months writing your book under the watchful eye of your instructors and mentor and then another 6 months honing and polishing to prepare the work for either submission or self-publication.

A full breakdown of how the course is taught can be found at

Instructors for the SF&F track include Mike Stackpole and Paul Cook.

Mentors for the SF&F track include myself, my good friends Jeff Mariotte and Kevin J Anderson, and the indomitable Alan Dean Foster.

Application deadline is September 30th so don’t miss out!