Write Your First Novel Now!
How To Write An Amazing First Novel That Readers Will Rave About
If you've tried to write a novel before and kept getting bogged down and frustrated with it, my course will show you exactly how to plan, plot and write an awesome page-turning novel that readers will rave about.
How To Write Your First Novel Now!
A proven plan to start (and finish!) your first novel that readers will rave about
Why do some people consistently write amazing 75,000 word novels while others struggle for years, often quitting before getting part-way through?
I’ll tell you exactly what the secret is…
Several years ago, I struggled with writing novels. I’d start with an amazing idea, create some neural characters, and. . . go write.
But inevitably, I’d write myself into a corner, or get bored, or overwhelmed with how much work it really was, or my main character was a jerk.
So I’d quit and start another novel, with another great idea and interesting characters only to end up in the same place of having yet another unfinished, messy novel sitting on the hard drive.
Contrast those failures with the launch of my first completed novel in 2018, The Crying of Ross 128. I wrote this page-turning first contact sci-fi story in less than 3 months, wrote the follow up of 115,000 words in early 2019, and now I’m working on my third novel in the Ross 128 trilogy and will publish that later in the fall.
What was the difference?
Why did I suddenly accomplish what most only dream of doing?
Writing a 75,000 word novel is a huge undertaking and requires commitment, time, effort and a plan so you know where you’re going.
You wouldn’t build a house without a plan . . . and it’s rare to write a novel that readers will rave about without a plan, no matter what Stephen King and other “pantsers” say.
If you’re thinking of writing a novel, or maybe you’ve started a few and quit like I did, then having a proven roadmap – a solid writing plan – is exactly what you need to successfully start and finish your first novel.
But how do you create a plan that works?
Introducing Write Your First Novel Now!
My name is David Hamilton. I am the founder of Ottawa Writing Workshops and The Writing Pipe.
Over the past 2 and a half years, I’ve helped hundreds of new writers overcome their fears and write their stories. Many of them have published their novels too, like Nick, who took my course in January 2018 and is now finishing up his third novel.
I’ve researched dozens of novel-writing methods, some good, some bad, and some way too complicated. I’ve uncovered and reverse-engineered the key elements of storytelling and built strategies and tools that really work.
Over the past 12 months I’ve written and published two of my own science fiction novels, coached other writers, and edited over a dozen collections of short stories.
The crazy part?
This time a few years ago, I was a complete nobody.
Now I have one of the fastest-growing series of writing workshops around...all because of one thing...
Yup! My plan.
How My Course Works
I’ve learned a time-tested and proven formula to cut through the noise and write page-turning, exciting novels in less time and with less frustration than any other method I know.
Implemented 18 storytelling strategies that have been tested by writers just like you.
Identified the 4 critical writing strategies, including having lots of engagement and a supportive writing group to hold you accountable.
Used more than 20 different methods and styles and found the perfect technical configuration to make the entire novel-writing process simple (even for people who are scared of that stuff).
These strategies have been tested and proven. But not just by me. I’ve researched and analyzed some of the biggest names in writing to validate and fine-tune my method (Evan Marshall, Stephen King, Randy Ingermanson, Blake Snyder).
This method has been proven successful in my own in-person writing workshops in Ottawa.
Where exactly you should begin your story
How much background to use and when to use it
How to write tension-filled action scenes
How to write crisp dialogue that sounds natural
Writing in viewpoint to better engage your readers
Lots of really practical exercises so you can avoid newbie mistakes
Plot twists, character motivations, and other surprises
Writing with intention: knowing the rules and when to break them
The importance of social networking with other writers and overcoming the sense of isolation we writers often face.
Have you tried writing a novel before and quit?
Have you thought about writing a novel but didn’t know where to begin?
Are you ready now to finally commit to writing your first novel and are prepared to put in the time and effort?
Moral of the story: This course is grounded in proven principles and strategies that work. It’s broken down into five simple, step-by-step modules that allow you to easily walk through each phase of writing and publishing a novel. That’s right: we’ll go from no story idea to a published novel in six months.
Six months? You bet. Does that seem short? You’ll learn about writers just like you who have done it in less time. Too long? I’ve seen the “write a novel in 30 days” programs too, but let’s be real: this takes effort, and not all of us can write full-time.
At the end of each module is an easy-to-follow checklist and schedule so you can methodically implement what you’ve learned. No guesswork. Just follow the plan.
But Don’t Take My Word For It
Here’s what Amanda said about my course . . .
“Drafting a novel has been a lifelong goal, and every computer or notebook I’ve ever purchased I told myself this would be the one in which I plot and write my first novel. Yet I still couldn’t get past my fear of failure or my uncertainty about where to start and how. David’s course gave me the framework for accountability and all the support I needed to finally write my first novel in less than eight weeks. The course starts with a plotting structure that helped me enormously to visualize my novel and then follow through with writing it in a logical progression. He’s always available for questions, and each class is structured so that any concerns or challenges during the process can be raised and discussed. You have to do the work on your own, but this course gives you all the tools you need to succeed. If you’re like me and want more than anything to write your first novel, but something is holding you back, this is the course for you.”
-Amanda Vollmershausen, first-time novel writer
Hold The Phone . . .
Does this sound too easy?
Let’s be really clear and honest up front. Following this plan will definitely help you overcome the most common obstacles to starting and finishing your novel, but you still have to do the work!
Writing a novel is a large project, make no mistake about that. But if you’re serious and committed to writing yours now, then my course will definitely help you get there.
What Topics Does the Course Cover?
This course covers five main topics:
1.How do I prepare myself for writing a novel?
The fear of judgement and overwhelming distractions can derail your writing in no time. You’ll learn:
What fear really is and how to overcome it
How to find your real reason why you want to write a novel
The best approach to managing your expectations
2. How do I plan my first novel for success?
As I refined my plan, I documented every step of the process so I could teach you how to do the same thing.
We’ll start at the beginning and lay the foundation for growing a healthy and valuable list.
You’ll learn the critical storytelling elements that every great story must have, including story arcs, character development, plot twists, and tension.
You’ll learn how to quickly come up with awesome story ideas and test them before you write a word.
You’ll learn the one story structure that has worked for years and that readers love
You’ll learn how exactly to start your story (and where to end it!). No more guessing.
In the Write Your First Novel Now! Course I’m going to cover 60 different lessons for plotting, writing, and publishing your novel. Every lesson will be meticulously broken down so you can easily follow along and implement the strategies in them.
3. How do I actually sit down and write good prose and a good story?
We cover all the fundamentals and all the tips the pros use, including:
4. How do I revise and edit my first novel for success without spending a fortune?
One of the biggest problems I ran into early on was figuring out how to revise and edit my own work.
Should I ask friends to edit?
What editing software should I use? (there’s an entire lesson on reviewing various software tools available)
Should I take my novel to Bookbaby or another outfit like that to edit and distribute my book (at no small cost)?
What about beta readers?
There are so many options. It can be completely overwhelming. I spent nearly 3 months just trying to pick editing software that wouldn’t drive me crazy. What a PAIN! You will not have to experience any of that.
I’m going to give you an easy-to-follow roadmap to set up your own flexible writing system to get that novel done, revised and edited without wasting a fortune. No guesswork. No spending months wondering if your story is any good. You will see my exact setup and what I suggest you use at each stage of your project.
5. How do I promote and publish my novel once it’s done?
This is the $1,000,000 question…
“Can I make money from my novel?”
Too many first-time novelists think that “if you build it, they will come.” That may work for cornfields and baseball, but it doesn’t work for books. The way to make some money with book sales is to build an audience of readers who love your stories, and that takes time and effort.
Still, I can help you get started.
You will learn the exact promotion plan I used to launch my novels and score dozens of sales in less than 24 hours.
You will learn how to get book reviews lined up before you actually publish.
You will learn how to pick Amazon categories to improve your rankings (and sales).
You’ll learn about the importance of a great cover design, and especially what to avoid
You’ll learn how to prime your list for a launch to make sure your novel doesn’t fall flat on its face (the worst thing that can happen is launching your novel to an audience of crickets . . .)
The strategies you’ll learn here have helped lots of new authors publish and distribute their books without getting ripped off or hoping that someone, somewhere might love it and tell their friends.
The truth is, most new authors rarely sell more than a handful of their books. If you can sell 100 copies, you’re doing way better than most. That’s the truth. Marketing and selling your books is extremely challenging, but I show you the steps you can take to improve your chances of making a few dollars.
10 More Things You’ll Learn in this Course
The exact step-by-step process you can follow to ensure your readers are engaged
How to write an awesome ending that leaves your readers gasping for breath
How to write realistic and effective dialogue
How to host a giveaway and generate 1000s of new reading fans in 10 days
How to properly structure your story for guaranteed success
The one tweak I made that improved my novel immensely
All of the behind-the-scenes data of my first published novel, including every costly mistake I made (so you don’t have to)
Exact revising and editing process I use for my own novels
The one strategy I stumbled upon that turbocharged my characters
The 8 key archetypes you can use to create memorable characters every time
Class Details: Here’s What You’ll Get
Here is what your course will include:
The Complete Write Your First Novel Now! Course (five modules with dozens of proven novel writing strategies in video and PDF format)
Checklists for each and every strategy you learn
The Plotting Roadmap for a 75k word novel
6-month accountability schedule to help you properly prioritize and schedule your work
Slide presentation downloads
Access to my Facebook group
How will you watch it? Immediately after purchasing my course, you’ll be sent a private link where you can jump in and start the course immediately. You could literally be watching the workshop 5 minutes from now.
How will you progress through the course? This isn’t a cafeteria style course where you can jump around from module to module. You know that doesn’t work. Look, I really want you to succeed. So if you’re serious about writing your first novel successfully, you need a proven pedagogical process. That’s why you will only move on to the next module once you’ve completed the one you’re on. No jumping ahead. You’ll get new teachings and “homework” each week, just like in a real classroom.
How Do I Know If This Is For Me?
If you answered “YES!” to any of those questions, then this course is definitely for you. If you’re hesitant or not sure for any reason, then this probably isn’t the best time for my course. I only want to help you succeed, if you’re prepared to commit to my method.
30-day money back guarantee. No questions asked.
Does this Roadmap Work for Normal People?
Here are just a few of the writers who have completed their novels using this plan.
Nick Forster: wrote and published 2 space opera novels using this plan and is finishing up his third.
Heather Dawn Gray: wrote 2 novels and is publishing her first this summer
Brandy Appleby: wrote her first fantasy novel following this plan
Mike Marshall: wrote his first science fiction novel and is publishing it this year
Amanda Vollmershausen: finished her first draft in 8 weeks
Debbie Bhangoo: finished her first draft in 10 weeks and is publishing this fall
Glen Packman: wrote two novels using this roadmap
Julee Pauling: wrote an amazing mystery thriller using this plan
Bob Eslami: wrote and published his first novel
Frequently Asked Questions
How involved is the accountability schedule? Is there any type of continued support as far as accountability goes? What does it look like?
There are a few aspects to this.
First, all of the course lectures, videos, and tools are available on Teachable, a user-friendly online course platform.
Second, we have group calls twice a month to ask questions and check in to see how everyone is doing. These “check-ins” are designed to support you and hold you to your commitment of writing your first novel now. You have to do the work yourself, but you never do the work alone.
As a course participant, you have unfettered access to the VIP writers Facebook group where you can ask me and other experienced writers questions and show your progress.
Also, the accountability scheduling for each learning module is extremely detailed.
It lists out the weekly and daily tasks you need to perform in order to hit your goal. Unlike many courses, this is run like a real school, where you have to finish up material before you can progress to the next unit. You want to write your first novel and have it be awesome, right? This is the only way I know that consistently works.
How long will it take me to complete the course? What if I don’t finish on time?
The course is designed to be completed over 6 months. Some students finish sooner, some a bit later. Once you’re enrolled, you have life-time access to the course.
There’s a lot of material to cover and a lot of hard work to complete, so it’s really up to you. If you’re able to spend an hour or two per day on average working on your novel, you should finish the course in 6 months. That includes your first draft, your revisions, and publishing your book.
Will this course continue to be updated? And will I get free access to future versions?
Yes! This will be the flagship Geek Writers Academy course and it will be updated on a regular basis.
Once you are enrolled, all future versions are free at no cost.
Will this work for someone who hasn’t written much fiction but has a story to tell?
I’ve used these strategies and tools in my in-person writing workshops in Ottawa, so I know they work. And I get all kinds of students: those who have written fiction a long time, and those who’ve done nothing since grade school. This roadmap works for everyone.
It has worked for government workers, stay-at-home moms, middle school kids, and retirees
All of the strategies taught are built on proven, universal storytelling principles.
Will this plan work for non-fiction?
Although the plan is designed for fiction, it works equally well for memoirs or biographies. But, not so much for self-help types of non-fiction. If you’re thinking about sharing your hike along the Pacific Coast trail, for example, this course works great. Other possibilities include looking for a new career, change in marital status, dealing with abuse, hiking up machu pichu, starting your own business.
What if I'm literally starting from step 0? No story idea. No clue about characters or plotting. Most of my writing is for business – not fiction – and I don’t know a comma from a participle.
The entire first module is how to overcome your fears and understand key storytelling elements in the first 7 days.
It's specifically engineered to take a complete newcomer and show you the exact steps you need to go from zero to 75,000 words and put your book on Amazon.
Can I afford this right now?
At the end of the day that's a question you have to answer.
However, I can tell you that the strategies in this course, when applied, always work.
The pricing model is specifically designed to enable beginners to get started without breaking the bank.
The full price is $497
I was wondering if you’re going to cover how to publish your novel once it’s done.
Absolutely. There is an entire module on how to publish and promote your book.
It goes line by line on how to demystify the publishing process, giving you tips and strategies to save tons of money while producing a book that looks and feels as good as anything out there.
The strategies in that section allowed me to launch my first book to a list in June 2018 and my second in 2019 where I sold 100 copies in the first 24 hours.
I'm a mystery and crime writer. Would this course still work for me?
Short answer is yes.
Almost all of the strategies I discuss in this course can be applied to other genres. However, the main plotting tool may need to be adjusted. Never fear, I talk about how to tweak the plotting tool for various genres in the course.
Is this actually possible? Can I really write my very first novel?
I did it in less than 3 months.
Others from all walks of life have done it too.
You'll have a major advantage on me by having someone hold you accountable and tell you exactly what works and what doesn't, saving you tons of time and effort.
How much time will this take?
The course itself is being designed to work through in under 1 hour per day.
As far as implementation, i.e., the actual plotting and writing of your novel, that depends on your experience level, skill, time and how quickly you learn, but an average of 5 hours per week is what most successful students manage.
While I can't guarantee anything I have designed the course so that anyone with a base skill set can implement the strategies and write their novel and publish it in about 6 months. You still have to do the work, but you’ll be doing it in a supported, proven way.
How often SHOULD I work on it?
The more you work the faster you go.
The more time and effort you commit to your novel project, the sooner you’ll finish.
If you're looking for a lazy way to write a novel, this isn't the course for you.
But if you're willing to work HARD and follow a proven plan. This will work.
David is the founder and chief instructor at the Ottawa Writing Workshops. He is a writer and teacher, and coaches other aspiring writers to write their stories. He has published two of his own novels: The Crying of Ross 128 and Echoes In The Grey and has published numerous collections of stories from the workshops.