Kick start 2020 with a chapter-by-chapter, scene-by-scene
outline of your novel, and an amazing community to write alongside

Starts 2nd January 2020

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (see reviews)


Without taking this course I would never have got past four chapters of my novel. I've written more in the last four months than I've written in two years and I'm coming to the end of my first draft now which is something I never thought I'd actually say. I've been able to set realistic goals, be disciplined and really see my novel take shape. I would recommend this course to everyone and I couldn't be more grateful for it!
- Kezia Barr

Non-members £190 (optional critique +£90)
Members: FREE (optional critique +£80)

Starts 2 January 2020. Get your novel plotted with the support of a community of other writers, all on the same journey.

Six live seminars for additional support, feedback and Q&As

Join our kickass community


Join us for a special New Year edition of our famous, 5* Plotstormers course and plot your novel in just six weeks, alongside an incredible community of other writers, all on the same journey as you.

Plotstormers LIVE includes all the course material and daily emails to keep you on track, six live seminars with Sarah and Jo so you can talk over your work and have your questions answered, incredible community support, and a professional critique of your final outline.

Writers’ HQ’s online novel planning creative writing course means you can learn the fundamentals of plotting your story, wherever you are in the world. Designed to fit around everyday life and a busy schedule, you will start with a simple idea, and finish with a comprehensive outline of your novel ready to be first drafted.

They say everyone has a novel inside them – the tricky part is getting it out without painful invasive surgery. This in-depth online plotting course contains everything you need to plan out your story from start to finish so that you’re rip roaring ready to get that first draft out, without too much swearing.

Over the six weeks, we’ll help you to build a practical understanding of story structure and plotting. By the end, you’ll walk away with a comprehensive outline of your story and a plan for what to do next (clue: write!).

Exercises, examples, group discussion, live seminars, swearing and crying will enable you to grow your fictional world and build your story plan, taking it from ‘idea in your head’ to ‘actual real story that’s ready to be properly written’.

You’ll learn the fundamental elements that make up every good plot and the basics of story structure; explore who’s in your story, what their roles are, and how to make your characters compelling; how to add tension and conflict to your story; how good beginnings, middles and ends work; how to break your story down into chapters and scenes and more; and what to do with your outline once you have it.


What are you *really* writing about? What’s the fundamental human truth at the bottom of your novel? What shape is your story? Get that first, very brief, very reductive outline nailed

The Magical 16 Point Plot Planner of Your Dreams

Why the midpoint is the most glorious point of your story

Make your end kick-ass awesome

Turning chapters into scenes

What now?


1. Enrol
Either sign up to take the course as a one-off, or join as a member (this is the most financially efficient way of accessing Plotstormers LIVE). Once you’ve joined you’ll get an email confirming your place and explaining how it will all work.

2. Read, watch, do
The lessons are a mix of text, images, videos and exercises. To get the most out of the course, try to give yourself at least an hour a day to read or watch the material and do the exercises. We’ve made them as bite-size as possible but also if you wanna do the thing you gotta do the work.

3. No rush
This course is written to be done over six weeks but if you miss a day or something comes up, don’t panic! Go at your own pace. We’ll be waiting for you in the community forums when you’re ready to catch up. If you sign up as a one-off, we’ll give you nine months access to the course materials. Membership access is on a rolling basis.

4. No money? No problem
Membership is the cheapest way to access this course, alternatively, if you can’t wait and have no cash, have a look at our bursary scheme.

5. Milk no sugar
Drink plenty of tea, stock up on biscuits, gin for later. Enjoy it. It’s supposed to be fun. Love you. Mwa.

  • A one-off sign up gives you nine months of access to Plotstormers: How To Plot A Novel. Membership access is on a rolling basis.
  • Six live seminars to guide you you through the Plotstormers process, including Q&As with Sarah or Jo (or both).
  • Daily online classes and exercises to lead you, step-by-step, towards a comprehensive chapter-by-chapter, scene-by-scene outline of your story, ready and waiting to be first drafted.
  • Daily emails to keep your pep topped up.
  • Lessons from brilliant authors who are at the top of their game, including Costa Award winner Emma Healey, Polari Prize winner Paul McVeigh, and Bridport Prize winner Vanessa Gebbie.
  • Lessons on story structure and how to make your story fit or break the rules.
  • Learn how to turn big picture chapter ideas into unputdownable scenes with believable and complex characters.
  • An invitation to join the most procrastination-busting, word-writing, tea-drinking, gif-slinging, story-telling, writer-supporting online writing community around.
  • Optional outline critique gives you a critique of your final outline, up to 5,000 words.

Plot your novel with a cohort of other writers, and use the six live seminars to get the most out of your outline

Explore the fundamentals of structuring a story and how to use and abuse the rules to best suit your story

Finish the course with a chapter-by-chapter, scene-by-scene outline of your story and a plan of what to do next


I took Plotstormers and used it to plot and write my fourth novel. HarperCollins bought it on proposal! Sent it to my editor two months before my deadline and she loved it. Thank you Jo and Sarah. Plotstormers is fabulous!

Hannah McKinnon

Author of Her Secret Son

Here’s to Writers’ HQ for encouraging us to take ourselves seriously as writers whilst still enabling us to have fun while we do it.

Elizabeth Haynes

Author of The Murder of Harriet Monckton

Now I am a Plotstormer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I love this course. So much great actionable advice on how to plot a novel, starting from 50,000 feet up and getting closer and closer until you’re at ground level….I was struggling with a novel I’ve been wanting to write for years now – have charged into NaNoWriMo every November for the last four years, hoping to get ‘er done, and with the exception of one year (in which I got 50,000 words of…backstory!), I’ve stumbled out of the gate and never hit the final target for the month. This year I’m more hopeful – because I have a much better idea of where I’m going with the story. This was something I hadn’t taken the time to think about in advance. Now I have, and I realize that was the missing piece – now I know what I want to do, I know things may change along the way, but I also know I have my Magical 16-Point Plot Planner lurking in the background of my files, waiting to rescue me – or to be adapted to fit the story as things morph and change. And it’s been great hanging out with other writers who are working out their plots as well – seeing the process and how it’s working for other people – getting to contribute to their work and getting their wonderful suggestions and help for my own. All hail Plotstormers! I’ll be using what I’ve learned over and over and over….


Mary Taslimi


I started with a beginning and an end then changed the end, twice, got the middle and finally understood what plotting is all about and what a story arc truly is. Now I see holes and have an idea of how to fill them. Great attitude to teaching from WHQ crew.




Sarah Lewis
Half of Writers’ HQ
Procrastinator Level: Set up WHQ and had a baby to avoid writing her novel

Jo Gatford
Half of Writers’ HQ
Procrastinator Level: Set up WHQ and did an MA to avoid writing her novel


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