How to Build a Novel

by Rachael Stephen


"I don't believe there's a right way to write. I do, however, believe that there are effective ways to write. To me, that's the essence of How to Build a Novel. How to effectively craft a strong foundation for your narrative."

- Nick Marino, author of Holy Fuck comic series (@nickmarino)

Whether you’ve only just decided to write a novel, or you’ve been trekking through a draft for a while now, it’s easy to get lost. To feel like you’ve gone off the trail, lost track of the heart of your story. From a distance the forest gleamed green and tall and proud, but now you’re inside it’s dark and muddy and cold. You have ideas but don’t know what to do with them, or you don’t know how to get the ideas you need. Your story’s going nowhere.

There’s a way to deal with this. There’s a way to build your ideas into an outline which you already know fulfills your aspirations for what the story can be, before you write it.

How to Build a Novel will give you the principles and knowledge you need to chart the best path through your story. Organise the ideas that ‘just come’ to you, build the ones that don’t. Not grammar, not spelling, STORY, which runs under everything - propels your plot, breathes life into your characters, lifts magic off the page. Makes readers care. Learn how to build a good foundation, and one day you’ll build a good home.

No process works for everyone, that’s why my approach will show you how to get the story information you need in the format and manner that works best for you. Stumbling through your novel without focus is tiring. Wasting words is tiring, it saps your creative energy and passion for your book. If you’re ready to build a blueprint of your story which fizzes, sparks, which fills you with energy and motivation to create, How to Build a Novel is for you.

I’m not the Bear Grylls of novelling - but I’m sure as hell not Carrie Bradshaw trying to wrench her stiletto out of the mud either. I’ve spent seven years making mistakes, finding success, honing my craft. Building myself the tools I need for my own story survival. There’s no bigger learning curve than being dumped out the back of a truck into a thousand square miles of narrative wilderness (like I was in NaNoWriMo in 2009). I can’t give my past self these tools and erase my own frustrating, infuriating, wasted time. But I can leave markers for writers like YOU who might follow my trail:

“WARNING: Don’t fall into this ditch. It’s cold, smelly, and it took me two months to pull myself out of it.”

I learned to read the stars. And you can too.

The lessons in this book are worth a lot to me. Not only are they applicable at ANY stage in the writing process, whether you’re outlining, writing your first or revising your fourth draft, they’re what got me from floundering, hating my book and having to throw out over THIRTY THOUSAND WORDS, to writing a complete workable draft in a single month in NaNoWriMo 2016.

I think How to Build a Novel is truly valuable, but I want to earn anything I get from it because it helps YOU. That’s why it’s pay-what-you-want, starting at one dollar. You have nothing to lose. And if you do find it’s the map that leads you through your book? That Buy button will always be there for you to donate whatever YOU think it’s worth.

HOW TO BUILD A NOVEL is a 17,000 word, full-colour guide to planning your novel, from seed to tree, including examples and demonstrations. Get the PDF for as little as £1 now.



"If you're struggling to find a way to organize your ideas, Rachael has a system for you! If you're not sure how to channel your passion for writing into a coherent story, Rachael has a system for you! If you feel like your characters are missing compelling arcs, Rachael has a system for you! I think you get the point.
Based on techniques she's developed the hard way, Rachael's lessons in How To Build A Story are rich with humor and intelligence. Her personal system for story building can help you design a strong template for your own system, full of focused behavior and effective results."
- Nick Marino, author of Holy Fuck comic series (@nickmarino)

“An extremely thorough and comprehensive guide that should come in handy to any aspiring writer.” - Annie Hsh (@FringeMagnet)

"It is easy to make writing exponentially complicated. With How To Build A Novel, Rachael offers her experience in clear simple terms of how she made it easier for herself and how the tools she used can be used by anyone to help bring a project into focus." - Peter Morrison (@remotevoices)

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