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