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A Novel Idea

A Year of plotting, writing, and editing your novel.

What if I told you that if you give me 30 minutes a day I can help you not only write your novel in the next year--but write it well?

In 30 minutes a day, you can plot, write, and edit a novel you'll be proud of. A novel you can send to agents or editors, whether you plan to traditionally or indie publish. And while you're working, you'll be learning a system that you'll be able to use over and over as you build your writing career.

Being a writer is pretty magical, but it isn't magic. Or luck. Or something that only happens to other people.

Writing is all about making small, sustainable goals and sticking to them all the way to the end of your story.

If you want to be a novel you have to learn to finish. But it doesn't have to be a grind. If you take it step-by-step, writing is a pleasure.

If you're ready to write your novel--really WRITE it, all the way to the end--A Novel Idea will get you there.

It's the exactly system I used to write my traditionally published novels.

It's the system I'm using today as I move into indie publishing.

It's a system designed to take advantage of our right-brained tendency to have fabulous starts, but no finishes.

More than 300 Ninja Writers have taken A Novel Idea. Many have finished their first novels. Several have signed with literary agents. More have launched their books as indie publishers.

We'd love to have you join us.


"I got the most out of the plotting workshop. Once I had that set out, the draft went like goose grease. I've never written so much, so fast in my life." -- Shawn (A Novel Idea, Spring 2016)

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.

There are three ways to enroll in A Novel Idea.


TIER ONE of A Novel Idea is a stripped down version of the course, entirely self-paced. This is the choice for you if you'd like to save some money and you're okay with working through the course without a lot of support.

In Tier One you'll get:

Instant lifetime access to the A Novel Idea course.

A copy of The Plotting Workshop e-book.

The Writing Planner.

It costs $250.


TIER TWO of A Novel Idea give you the planning, writing, and editing modules of the course, plus an engaged, powerful support and accountability community. This is your choice if you don't want too many bells and whistles, but you want the A Novel Idea community. You can enroll in Tier One Plus with a monthly payment plan.

You'll get everything in Tier One, plus:

Instant access to the A Novel Idea Facebook Group for one year.

A free year in the Ninja Writers Kick-in-the-Butt Crew. (Hourly accountability posts on Facebook!)

An assigned accountability partner.

Access to the A Novel Idea group in the BetaBooks app for one year, where you can easily share your chapters with critique partners.

And a full year in the the Ninja Writers Club--where you'll have access to EVERYTHING I create. Courses. Groups. Programs. Books. All of it.

It costs $500, or six payments of $97.


Ninja Writers Club

This is for you if you'd rather not commit to a year.

For one low monthly fee, you get access to A Novel Idea and the community behind it. You keep your access for as long as you stay a member.

This is a great option if you'd like to give A Novel Idea try, but you're not sure you're ready to go all in.

It's also perfect if you have more experience and won't need a year to complete the course.

Click here to get more information about the Ninja Writers Club and get signed up.

It costs $25 a month.

What Students Are Saying 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.



Your Instructor


Shaunta Grimes
Shaunta Grimes

Shaunta Grimes is the author of Viral Nation and Rebel Nation.

She blogs at whatisaplot.com.

Ninja Writers is her happy place.


Class Curriculum


  Welcome to A Novel Idea!
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  The Plotting Workshop: 30 Scenes
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  The Plotting Workshop: Plot Board
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  The Plotting Workshop: Synopsis
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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!