How to Plan Your Novel in a Weekend

In this course, you'll learn strategies that will enable you to plan your novel, without any of the fluff. Most systems are far too complicated. With How to Plan Your Novel in a Weekend, you'll learn techniques you can start using this weekend to plan your novel with confidence. After watching the course, and taking action on each activity, you’ll end up with a clear, carefully structured plan that makes the actual writing of your book a whole lot easier. So you can finally get your novel written and out into the world.

Here’s What You’ll Get When You Sign Up

In this easy to follow course, you’ll learn how to create a plan that works as:
1) a way of structuring your novel,
2) a guide to writing it,
3) the basis of a selling document.

Why the journey through the novel is so important

Create authentic, interesting characters with a problem to solve and plan their journey through your novel.

What you need to know first in order to plan your noveL

Learn the eight questions you need to ask yourself before you start planning.

Create a user-friendly guide to writing your novel

Learn how to keep revising and polishing your plan as you go so you end up with a workable and user-friendly guide to writing your own novel. This plan is more than an outline of your story: it's also a (friendly) task manager.

About Your Tutor

Louise Tondeur is a published novelist, author of several guides to the writing progress, and an experienced writing tutor. Lou has helped countless writers through editorial feedback and writing classes. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and a PhD in Literature from the University of Reading.

"I'm so proud of this course because it really does make the process of planning a novel so much easier to understand. Remember these are accessible techniques that you can start THIS WEEKEND - simply by taking small steps. See you on the inside!' - Lou

From Louise's former students

Masters student

My mind fizzed with ideas

"My mind always fizzed with ideas; a blank page became something not to be feared but filled. Perhaps more importantly I changed the way I thought about myself: I saw myself as a writer – that was the most valuable lesson and for that I’m extremely grateful.”

Undergraduate student

Don't wait for inspiration

"I don’t have to sit around and wait for inspiration to strike; I just have to pick up my pen, grab my notebook and begin writing, no matter how disorganised my thoughts may be.”

Undergraduate student

Novelists are actual people!

"I realised that novelists are not otherworldly creatures who only emerge to collect awards before disappearing into the ether again, but actual people, much like myself. To be able to put a face and a personality to a published author was inspiring enough, and to be taught by one was even better.”

Course Modules

Here's what’s in the course


Module 1: Getting Started

Overcome your reluctance to plan by turning the process into a writing game. Get your ideas out of your head and onto the page, and learn the eight questions you need to ask yourself before you start planning. Understand how the journey of your main character works and how to plan for it.


Module 2: The Ingredients of a Novel

We begin by taking a look at the characters who will populate your novel, and how to plan for story content. Then you'll start your research plan and look some more at how a novel is structured. You'll also learn a powerful but simple technique - called The Subheadings Method - to plan the scenes that will become the building blocks of your novel.


Module 3: The Final Stages

In the final stages you'll create a smart version of your plan that you can use as a template for a task management system and for a selling document.


Module 4: Extras

We'll cover what to do next now you have your plan written. You'll get a real world example in a lesson called 'How I did it' and we'll discuss turning your plan into a selling document.

What makes this course different

All the small steps courses and guides are based on two principles. One, you can take any big project, goal or task - like writing a novel - and break it down into smaller and smaller steps until it becomes doable. Two, if you take small but specific actions towards your goals regularly enough, they'll have a snowball effect.

That means this course gives you the techniques without any of the fluff. Novel writing won't be presented as incomprehensible or mystifying or baffling. The steps are simply laid out for you to follow. It's up to you how you use them.

This is a truly practical course. In order to get the most out of it, simply follow the small steps and do the exercises along the way.


Some common questions about this course

Have questions? Read on...

Do I have to do this course over a weekend?

No. You can take as long as you like to complete the course. Some people like to take their time to ponder the different elements and spend longer mulling over the characters and the obstacles they're going to face. Because it's designed an intensive course, if you can't do a weekend, perhaps do an hour a day for a week instead, but it's really up to you.

Will this course teach me how to sell my novel?

While the course briefly covers how you can turn your plan into a selling document,  it doesn't cover how to submit / prepare your novel for publication. Take a look at my book How to Write a Novel and Get It Published for more on publishing a novel.

Is this the only / the most popular way to plan a novel?

This course uses a version of classic narrative structure, which is commonly used when teaching how to plan a screenplay or novel. With the small steps method applied, you'll learn the techniques you need without the extra padding.

This self-paced course is stuffed full of value

Because this course gets you 1) a workable plan for your novel, 2) a (friendly) task manager so you feel motivated to write your book, and 3) a the start of your selling document, and because it's as practical and down-to-earth as possible, it's stuffed full of value. You'll aslo get lots of downloads and resources to guide you through the process.

Self-paced course



  • Study whenever you like
  • Lifetime Acces
  • Acces to All Modules
  • Immediate Start