Learn how to write a novel THAT YOUR READER'S BRAIN IS HUNGRY FOR

 

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COURSE OVERVIEW

NEXT COURSE TBA


The Story Genius Method 10-Week Novel-Writing Workshop will teach you to write a novel that captivates, delivering what your reader’s brain is wired to crave and respond to in every story it hears. Forget GUESSING where to start, where to end, or how to navigate the long road in between. Through weekly video/audio lessons, action-oriented assignments, personalized editorial feedback from a dedicated book coach, and rigorous, encouraging mentorship, we will teach you how to KNOW, and write with confidence.

This is the first time that Lisa Cron’s Story Genius Method has been offered to the public in a workshop. It’s the “how to” follow-up to her bestselling book, Wired for Story, which used brain science to debunk many of the longstanding writing myths that had forever been derailing writers and revealed what the brain is hardwired to hunt for in every story it hears. Lisa’s new book, Story Genius: How to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel, was JUST RELEASED, so you’ll be getting the inside scoop before anyone else.

 
 

 STORY GENIUS IS DIFFERENT FROM ALL THE OTHER NOVEL-WRITING METHODS OUT THERE

 

Most writing books, workshops and methods tell you that their system will make writing a novel easy, as if it’s something you can do with little effort – like in 10 minutes a day or on every other Saturday. But they miss the fine print.

Sure, just about anyone can sit down and pound out a few hundred pages (witness NaNoWriMo), but it’s insanely hard to pound out a few hundred pages that other people will want to read.

The Story Genius method is for people who want to write a novel that will captivate readers. It recognizes what the other methods don’t: The story is not about the plot. Or the structure. Or the beautiful writing. Because the story is not about what happens on the surface. The story is about what goes on beneath it.


BE THE FIRST TO HEAR ABOUT THE NEXT WORKSHOP COMING IN 2017!


 

Listen to Laraine rave about Story Genius:

 

YOU'LL LEARN What a Story REALLY Is

 

Story is about an internal struggle, not an external one. It’s about what the protagonist has to learn, to overcome, to deal with internally in order to solve the problem that the external plot poses.

That means that the internal problem pre-dates the events in the plot, often by decades. So if you don’t know, specifically, what your protagonist wants, what internal misbelief is standing in her way — and most importantly, why — how on Earth can you construct a plot that will force her to deal with it?

The answer is simple: You can’t.       

This is why you have to know everything there is to know about the protagonist’s specific internal problem before you create the plot, and why this knowledge will then, with astonishing speed, begin to generate the plot itself.

Story first, plot second, so that your novel has the juice to instantly captivate your readers, biologically hooking them before they know what hit ’em.

That’s the power Story Genius will give you. It will take you, step by step, from the first glimmer of an idea to an evolving, multi-layered cause-and-effect blueprint that transforms into a first draft that has the authority, richness and command of a fully realized sixth or seventh draft.

 

By Learning The Story Genius Method, You Will:

  • Experience a profound and empowering shift in the way you conceive, write and develop a novel
  • Understand what a reader’s brain is looking for in every story it encounters – and learn how to give it to them
  • Gain the skills and confidence you need to succeed as a fiction writer, no matter where you are in your writing career
  • Take a novel idea from vague and fuzzy to crystal clear so that you can write forward with confidence
 

*We strongly suggest that you read Lisa Cron’s "Story Genius" prior to the start of this course. It will give you a deep foundation of Lisa’s method and philosophy, Jennie’s story, and the Story Genius vocabulary. It will help you take even more out of the workshop than you would without it. Purchase the book by clicking here.


STORY GENIUS METHOD SELF-STUDY COURSE*

$199
Unlimited seats

  • More than 800 minutes of video lessons
  • Weekly assignments
  • Weekly FAQs
  • Weekly sample submissions
  • Does NOT include feedback, access to private Facebook group, or live Q&A calls with Jennie and Lisa

>> SIGN UP FOR THE SELF-STUDY COURSE <<

 

STORY GENIUS METHOD WORKSHOP
 

Early Bird: $699  |  Regular Price: $899
30 seats available

  • More than 800 minutes of video lessons
  • Weekly assignments
  • Weekly feedback from a dedicated book coach
  • Weekly FAQs
  • Weekly sample submissions
  • 5 live Q&A's with Jennie and Lisa
  • Access to a private Facebook group

THE JANUARY 2017 WORKSHOP IS NOW CLOSED


 

Listen to Kate's Story Genius transformation:

 

Your Instructors

LISA CRON

Lisa is an instructor, lecturer and story coach whose TEDx talk, Wired for Story, opened Furman University’s 2014 TEDx conference, Stories: The Common Thread of Our Humanity. She is a monthly contributor on the award-winning writer’s website Writer Unboxed. Since 2006, she has been an instructor in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program, and is part of the faculty of the School of Visual Arts MFA program in Visual Narrative. She is the author of Wired for Story and Story Genius. She has taught portions of the Story Genius Method Novel-Writing Workshop at events and conferences all over the country, including:

  • Novelists Inc.
  • Writer Unboxed UnConference
  • Romance Writers of America Conference
  • The Writer’s Digest Conference, Los Angeles and New York
  • Willamette Writers Conference
  • The Alaska Writer’s Guild Conference
  • UCLA Extension Writers' Program
  • PEN, a two-day workshop
  • The Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society Conference
 

JENNie nash

In this workshop, you get the benefit of two writing pros, because the course is being co-taught by Jennie Nash, who developed her most recent novel using the Story Genius method within the pages of the Story Genius book.

Jennie is the founder and chief creative officer of Author Accelerator, a program that brings professional book coaching to writers in all genres. She is a private book coach whose authors regularly land top New York agents and book deals with publishers including Scribner, Simon & Schuster, Hazeldon, Norton and Random House. Several of her writers have also recently won national self-publishing awards.

Jennie is the author of four novels, three memoirs and counting:


WEEK-BY-WEEK COURSE BREAKDOWN

 

  • Learn  The course includes weekly video (or audio) lessons from Jennie and Lisa. These are meaty lessons – an hour (sometimes more) of instruction.
  • Think + Reflect + Plan – Each week gives you the chance to dig deeper into your story than you’ve ever gone before. A workbook helps you capture all your thoughts and ideas.
  • Revise – Get weekly email feedback on your work from a book coach trained in the Story Genius method.
  • Take Action  Each week includes assignments to move you forward in your novel. You will end the course with an opening scene, and “aha moment” scene, an origin scene, a crystal-clear idea of what the first 5 scenes of the novel must be, and the skill to build your cause-and-effect trajectory for the whole book.
  • Get Inspired – 5 live hour-long Q&As with Lisa Cron and Jennie Nash. Get advice, insight and inspiration.
  • Prepare for Success – Once the workshop is complete, seamlessly move into the Author Accelerator program to continue to work with your book coach on card and scene development. Pricing for Author Accelerator is $399/month and you get 25% off your first month if you sign up within 2 weeks of the end of the Story Genius Method Novel-Writing Workshop. The goal? Complete your rough draft in six months.

 

Week 1: What Is a Story? 

Story is about how the things that happen in the plot affect the protagonist, and how he or she changes internally as a result. Think of the protagonist's internal struggle as the novel's live wire. It's exactly like the third rail on a subway train — the electrified rail that supplies the juice that drives the cars forward. Without it, that train, no matter how well constructed, just sits there, idling in neutral, annoying everyone, especially at rush hour. We will start getting at this deep truth by crafting a "What If" statement for your story, which will teach you how to look at your story from the inside out rather than the outside in. Your Story Genius book coach will help make sure your "What If" is doing what it needs to do to set you up for success over the next 10 weeks.

Week 2: Whose Story Is It? 

The protagonist is the portal through which the reader enters the story. The next step in writing a story to engage your reader's brain is to figure out your protagonist's specific fear and specific desire that generates the "why" that motivates her every action. Many writers are great at coming up with these concepts in general. Making them specific is what is hard – and where the payoff is. Especially since every protagonist comes into the novel with both things fully formed: A desire (something they want) and a fear (what Lisa calls their "misbelief") that keeps them from getting it. The relationship between their fear and desire is your novel's third rail; it is what gives meaning to everything that happens. The whole point of your plot will be to force your protagonist to face her misbelief. Doing this work will also lead you directly to where your story starts and where it ends. Your Story Genius book coach will give you line edits on your protagonist sketch.

Week 3: Where Does Your Story Start?

This is not the same thing as where your novel starts – a reality that shocks many writers. Have you ever heard that all stories start "in medias res"? That means "in the middle of the thing." Which means that your story actually starts when your protagonist's misbelief first took hold, not when the misbelief is about to cause them big trouble. This week we will drill down to that moment, and write a draft of an origin scene to capture it in living color. We'll also sketch out three key scenes that will directly follow this moment. Your Story Genius book coach will give you line edits on these scenes and pages so you have clear feedback.

Week 4: Catch Up and Revise

This is a week built into the class where you can take a moment to breathe, revise, and catch up if you feel behind. Take the time to go over all your Story Genius elements, revise your origin scene, reply to your coach’s suggestions, and regroup.

Week 5: Where Does Your Novel Start?

Many writers waffle about where to start their novel because it feels as if there are endless possibilities – it can be a paralyzing proposition. This week, we'll show you that, thankfully, there are actually only a finite number of possibilities, and we'll give you two tests to help you select the best one. You'll then sketch out the "ticks of the clock" that lead to the moment when the world (aka, the plot) will force your protagonist to go after the thing they want, and face their misbelief in the process. You will then test each of those ticks to pinpoint exactly where your novel will start. Your Story Genius book coach will review your tests, and give you line edits on your "ticks," which will all end up as scenes in the novel.

Week 6: The Story Genius Scene Card System + Developing Your Opening Scene Card

 We'll teach you about the Story Genius Scene Card System, which will transform the way you plan, organize and write your novel. Your opening scene is the start of an internal and external "cause-and-effect trajectory," which will propel your story from this opening moment all the way until the end. The Scene Cards capture this dual trajectory. Your Story Genius book coach will review your opening Scene Card so you can be sure it has all the elements you need before you work on your opening scene next week.

Week 7: Write Your Opening Scene

 Using your Scene Card as a guide, you'll write the opening scene of your novel. Your Story Genius book coach will edit it and get back to you with suggestions for how to make it even stronger.

Week 8: Understanding the "Aha Moment" Scene + Developing Your "Aha Moment" Scene Card

 Now that you know where your story starts and where your novel starts, you can develop the ending of your novel. We'll help you figure out where your protagonist's internal struggle culminates, how she sees the world differently in that moment, and – most importantly – WHY. This week, you’ll develop a Scene Card for the "aha moment" scene. Your Story Genius book coach will review your "aha moment" Scene Card so you can be sure it has all the elements you need before you work on your "aha moment" scene next week.

Week 9: Write Your “Aha Moment” Scene + Learn How to Keep Track of Your Scenes and Cards

Using your Scene Card as a guide, you'll write the "aha moment" scene of your novel. Your Story Genius book coach will edit it and give you suggestions for how to make it even stronger. We’ll show you some breakdowns of famous books for inspiration and teach you how to best organize all your cards.

Week 10: Developing Your Story Genius Blueprint 

Novels that engage the reader's brain are written in chronological order, but they are developed in a spiral, as you continually dive into your characters' pasts to determine what they would do not only in the scene you're writing, but farther on in your novel. Learn this critical skill as we develop Story Genius Scene Cards for the first 5 scenes of your novel. You'll build the muscle you need to develop the internal and external cause-and-effect trajectory that propels your novel from sentence one to "the end." Your editor will review your cards and give you the go-ahead to start writing forward.


 
 

FAQs

WHO SHOULD TAKE THE STORY GENIUS METHOD WORKSHOP

+ Is the course appropriate for new writers?

It’s the perfect time to come in, because you don’t have so much to unlearn. Writing is often taught wrong. So what we’re doing is pulling apart things that people have been taught forever and bringing them back so they can write a story that is really engaging. It’s much easier to learn something you’re learning from scratch than to first have to kind of unlearn something before you come into it.

+ Will it help me with a work-in-progress?

Yes, BUT ONLY IF YOU ARE WILLING TO SET ASIDE WHAT YOU HAVE ALREADY WRITTEN FOR THE DURATION OF THE WORKSHOP. We are shouting this from the mountaintops because in our beta tests of the workshop, we found that the most frustrated writers were the ones trying to retrofit an already-existing manuscript into the lessons. We want to emphasize that if somebody comes into this course and thinks that in ten weeks, they’re going to fix their novel, that’s not happening, and you’ll be frustrated. Those who were willing to ACTUALLY set aside their work in progress and start from scratch did really well. But you have to REALLY make sure you are not dragging old work through this new process. You can take what you learn in the Story Genius Method Workshop and apply it to all your work AFTER the class is over. Please click here to watch a video that will give you a good idea of why we suggest setting your previously written material aside for this workshop.

Of course, on the flip side, we've found that many of our writers who have taken a WIP through Story Genius have used the concepts as a diagnostic tool for assessing why their current manuscript isn't working. By utilizing the Story Genius methods - they were able to pull out what wasn't working and revise so that it did work. If you have a WIP and know that it's not working -- Story Genius could be the answer.

+ Can I take the course if I am writing memoir?

Story is story regardless of genre or format. What pulls us in--what we are looking for in story--is the same in memoirs as it is in novels. Memoirs have to be written as well as novels. The best memoirs read as if they were novels, so yes, this can absolutely help you but we encourage you to watch this video so you understand what it means to bring your memoir idea into the Story Genius Method Workshop.

+ Can I take the course if I am working on a screenplay?

No, unfortunately we don't have coaching expertise in screenwriting – yet. We're hoping to add this to our wheelhouse soon. The Story Genius method CAN, however, be applied to screenplays – just like memoir, many of the same principles apply. We encourage you to use Lisa's book as a guide until we can accept screenwriters into the workshop.

+ If I've read the book and/or completed the prompts from the book, will I get anything from this workshop?

You'll actually get more than if you just read the book. When you’re in the workshop, we can be more specific and of course you get one-on-one feedback from a coach, which is invaluable. You also get accountability as opposed to something self-guided like the book. Reading the book is great, but taking the workshop will take you and your book to the next level. By the way, we strongly suggest that you read Lisa Cron’s Story Genius prior to the start of this course. It will give you a deep foundation in Lisa’s method and philosophy, Jennie’s story, and the Story Genius vocabulary. It will help you take even more out of the workshop than you would without it. Purchase the book by clicking here.

+ My novel is {insert fiction genre} – is this course for me?

Absolutely. As we mentioned with memoir, story is story regardless of genre or format. We come to story hard wired to ask the same questions and the same things in every story. Not just novels, but movies, TV, ads. All of it is exactly the same. It doesn’t matter what genre you’re writing in - this course is for everyone.

+ Is it possible to work on more than one project at a time?

Look at how ambitious you are! Unfortunately, the answer is no. After running this workshop several times and having a couple students try to take more than one project through. It was a disaster for them and very frustrating! This is an intensive workshop and a big commitment. You really need to dig in and commit to your story and your learning, coach, and feedback which we estimate takes between 5-10 hours per week.

BOOK-COACH PAIRINGS

+ Do I get to choose my own book coach?

No. We take a great deal of care in how we match book coaches with writers. We take into account your genre, your topic, your experience and many other factors. We usually do a fantastic job and writers are very happy with their book coach. And we're always willing to make adjustments to ensure you're happiness as a student and writer.

+ Do you have a coach that specializes in {insert genre}?

All of our coaches have been hand-picked and trained across a variety of genres, and many of them specialize in certain genres and topics. Many of our coaches are also published in the genres in which they specialize. As part of the pairing process, we will try our hardest to match you with someone who specializes in your genre.

+ Do I get feedback from a coach and other students? And from Jennie and Lisa?

This workshop was designed for you to receive feedback from a Story Genius-trained book coach. While Lisa and Jennie oversee all the coaches as they work with you (and you may hear from them once in a while), the feedback is from your coach. We do not expect or encourage feedback from your peers while you are in the course – we don't believe they are in the best place to give you the best feedback. In the Facebook group, however, we have set up a safe place for you to talk with each other and even buddy-up for accountability and support.

+ What if I'm not happy with my coach?

We’ll do our best to move you to another coach, and the coaches are fine with that. They understand and know that it’s very human, it’s very personal, and sometimes it just doesn’t work. It doesn’t happen very often and there has to be good cause for it. We’ve found over the ten weeks the coach pairings work very well. It might be that you’re not used to getting feedback in the beginning, or what have you, but if there is a big problem we will try to fix it.

after the course is over

+ What do I do once the course is over?

We offer a Story Genius extension course that teaches additional lessons in a six week program in subplots, flashbacks and secondary characters. That follows each ten week course and is an additional add on option. You’re also invited to come back to Author Accelerator weekly feedback coaching and continue the feedback and accountability on a weekly basis. You can stay with your coach or you can switch coaches if you want a fresh set of eyes on it.

Nuts & Bolts 

+ What if I'm bad at technology?

We try to use user-friendly technology and will give you, in your welcome packet, a run-down of what we will be using in the course. You should be familiar with: Microsoft Word, the Track Changes tool in Microsoft Word, and accessing course material via the internet. Knowledge/use of Facebook is optional, but there will be an opportunity to engage with your classmates, Jennie and Lisa on Facebook. We also have partened with a tech consultant, so if you're really struggling with technology, you can talk to our tech consultant about your tech issues.

+ Do you offer refunds?

Refunds may be issued within the first 7 days of the start of the course. After that, there are no refunds.

+ What happens if I have a vacation during the 10 weeks, or an emergency at work, and can't complete the course?

We want to emphasize that this is not a course that you have to pass a certain week to move on or you get a gold star. We are teaching you a method. It’s a method that you’re going to learn and apply and if you miss turning in an assignment, or you don’t write as much as you want, it’s not going to diminish your takeaway at all.

You can watch the videos at any time and the lessons at any time. You can get the feedback only within those ten weeks, however. You can work with your book coach to perhaps shift your deadline if there is an emergency. They have very carefully recalibrated schedules, so you can’t do that willy-nilly. We will try to work with you, but we can’t be totally customizable. It’s a ten-week program, there is ten lessons and ten deadlines. If you can’t do one or two, we have found most people say it barely impacts the takeaway at all.

+ How long is the classroom available?

It’s forever or until the internet implodes, but you can have these videos and lessons to go back to time and time again. The alumni stay in the Facebook group. Lisa and Jennie are not super responsive in the Facebook group. They go in as they can can, but you can’t count on them answering a question at the drop of a hat. All the Alumni, coaches and staff try to be as helpful as they can and answer questions in a timely fashion, but know that the Facebook group is not a mandatory part of the workshop and therefore, may not always be the most timely place to get answers.

+ What are your terms of service?

We reserve the right to refuse service to any prospective or existing customer. If you are not complying with our stated Standard of Writer Conduct, you will be given ONE warning before being removed from the program. Writers who are removed will be refunded a prorated amount of the cost of the program based on the time elapsed. For example, if a customer is enrolled in a six-week program and is removed after three weeks, 50% of the payment will be refunded.


STORY GENIUS METHOD SELF-STUDY COURSE*

$199
Unlimited seats

  • More than 800 minutes of video lessons
  • Weekly assignments
  • Weekly FAQs
  • Weekly sample submissions
  • Does NOT include feedback, access to private Facebook group, or live Q&A calls with Jennie and Lisa

>> SIGN UP FOR SELF STUDY COURSE <<

STORY GENIUS METHOD WORKSHOP
 

Early Bird: $699  |  Regular Price: $899
30 seats available

  • More than 800 minutes of video lessons
  • Weekly assignments
  • Weekly feedback from a dedicated book coach
  • Weekly FAQs
  • Weekly sample submissions
  • 5 live Q&A's with Jennie and Lisa
  • Access to a private Facebook group

THE JANUARY 2017 WORKSHOP IS NOW CLOSED


*We strongly suggest that you read Lisa Cron’s "Story Genius" prior to the start of this course. It will give you a deep foundation of Lisa’s method and philosophy, Jennie’s story, and the Story Genius vocabulary. It will help you take even more out of the workshop than you would without it. Purchase the book by clicking here.