The Zero Draft: How to Start Writing a Novel
Learn how to transform an initial book idea into a physical plot board filled with scenes and different versions of the entire story
There’s no better feeling than letting a story effortlessly flow onto the page from start to finish. But as every writer knows, this inspiration isn’t always easy to sustain. Luckily, as author and teacher Shaunta Grimes has discovered, writing is often more about consistency than talent or imagination. Through experience, she has come up with a series of techniques to structure her writing practice successfully, creating novels such as Center of Gravity and Rebel Nation.
In this online course, learn Shaunta’s writing method to turn your ideas into a complete novel. Discover practical exercises to overcome creative blocks, organize your ideas with key story structures, and stay persistent as you tap into the writer within.
Start by getting to know Shaunta as she discusses what sparked her love for writing and how she was able to turn her passion into a career. Explore some of the authors and storytellers that inspired her to develop her skills as a writer.
Tap into your own sources of inspiration with a writing exercise. Shaunta shows you how she organizes her book binders to develop her stories and goes over the materials you need to build your own. Discover the classic three-act, eight-sequence story structure, as well as core elements like characters, settings, and situations. Brainstorm ideas and put your emerging story to the test by identifying five key plot points.
Next, it’s time to unfold your core idea to develop your novel. Use Shaunta’s downloadable worksheets to delve further into the eight-sequence structure and contextualize your five plot points within that paradigm. Outline your most important scenes and find out how to flexibly assemble a plot board, creating a visual representation of various storyline options to later write your zero draft.
Wrap up by learning some tips to take your story from a draft to a finished novel. Shaunta shares an exercise designed to tame your inner editor and challenges you to set a manageable daily writing goal in order to remain consistent. Discover your writer archetype to harness your strengths and keep yourself accountable as you set out to finally write the book you’ve always dreamed of.