Learn the deep magic and craft of artful storytelling.
So you want to write a book, but are having trouble getting it over the finish line - don't worry, that's normal! And it's not your fault... the truth is, the overwhelmingly contradictory writing advice out there isn't very useful, and even the best systems have huge gaps that cannot be resolved. Until now...
You see, I've spent over a decade studying the craft of book writing. After getting stuck on my first novel, I came up with a system that made everything a lot easier, and have since written dozens of novels that don't suck, as evidenced from the thousands of positive reviews. But even more exciting, when I shared my writing system and templates, I started getting rave reviews and comments from people who had tried everything and were finally able to make significant progress.
Since then, I've written a massive guide and created dozens of hours of in-depth video lectures, going deeper and deeper into the craft of writing good books and figuring out cool hacks or cheats that let you embrace your creativity without getting stuck on common mistakes or amateur writing habits that all authors make.
Don't worry, this course isn't about "selling out" or pumping out crappy books to hit trends.
It's about writing books that transfix, inspire, motivate, and break hearts.
It's about writing books readers can't put down. Books they buy for all their friends saying "you MUST read this."
It's about writing books that MATTER.
For fiction, we'll study universal principles of story-telling, emotional catharsis, creating intrigue and mystery, characters readers loathe and adore, hooking and compelling, epic battle scenes and plot twists, and romantic tension. I'll share my own plotting formula for creating bestsellers for all types of commercial fiction.
For nonfiction, we'll focus on branding and credibility, capturing hearts and minds, hooking with story, principles of persuasion and influence, and making sure readers get not only practical value, but emotional gratification and a satisfying sense of completing a rewarding journey. You'll also get a foolproof way to outline, write your introduction and sales copy, and make sure readers are ready to take action by signing up to your bonus content or optin offer, and/or becoming clients.
My plan is to make this course as short and practical as possible, so you don't have to watch long boring videos to get the benefits. There will be bulletpoints, and cheatsheets, summaries and activity pages. These also won't be complete chapter-by-chapter, write-by-number boilerplates or MadLibs style Fill-in-the-Blank games (on second thought, that last one sounds awesome, so there might be some of those).
My point is, these guidelines are a supportive framework to enhance your creativity, not stifle your art. Genre conventions and story architecture are not cages to restrain your vision, they are wings to help your writing soar. You'll be able to write better quality books, that earn more money, faster than you ever thought possible, which will make you happier, wealthier, and more attractive (I can't promise that last one but it's probably true).
Finish Your Draft,
or Polish to Perfection
We'll take away months of painful hesitation or self-doubt, by letting you effortlessly plan, produce and polish your book. Not only will you feel better (and finish faster!), but you'll have also made something people really love, and you'll be proud of what you've accomplished.
What if all your work was your best work?
If you're one of those authors who has a million ideas and a pile of unfinished manuscripts, this will help! Not only will the outlines keep you grounded, my productivity and motivation tips will help you get it done and published - so you can finally start something new.
If you've finished a manuscript but are stuck in revisions, these powerful strategies will help you self-edit without spending thousands on a developmental editor. And if you've already published a few books but aren't getting reviews and sales, this bundle will help you identify and fix your weaknesses quickly.
- the Plot Dot basic novel outlining template + book and in-depth video walkthrough
- my premium 24-chapter outline template + massive BookCraft guide to powerful fiction
- downloadable writing templates for Scrivener, MS Word, GoogleDocs & Plottr
- crucial tips on how to handle backstory, infodumps, twists and reveals
- keep readers engaged with foolproof tactics for building suspense and intrigue
- self-editing and revision tips to fix your rough draft
- a massive list of common writing mistakes and how to fix them
- procrastination & productivity tips to help you avoid writer's block for good
- NEW: nonfiction outline templates for selfhelp, howto, memoir or biography
"Oh. My. God. Derek Murphy, I've tried plotting my WIP into all these kinds of templates FOR YEARS, always feeling so frustrated that something was wrong! Every template could give me some new learning skills, but my story never fitted Save the cat, Michael Hauge or any circles and diagrams you just TOTALLY PAINTED MY STORY out for me, point by point!! I could not be more grateful! I will use this template forever, I can't wait to start my writing game up from a new point of view, THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.!"
- Jose, YouTuber
"Just finished the Bestseller Blueprint course, and now I have a nonfiction book idea and a clearer path toward my fiction goals. I've been writing and learning for a decade and still found every section useful. There are 4 days worth of content, and I 2x the videos, so it's definitely worth the $. So if you've been looking for a writing course that's fit for newbies but works for experts as well, this is it, and it's a 6th of the price of people with similar credentials."
- Raven Blakewood
"I have started a book several times over the past few years but the main problem has been just how do I do this and achieve a professional outcome? I have looked at several options but none have seemed right for me and many were over complicated to grasp. Your course and way of explaining is absolutely brilliant and within a couple of days I have learnt more than I have in years. I have been a frustrated author for a few decades and the main problem was how to get started and you have 100% solved this for me. Anyway, mega thanks again, really appreciated."
- Annie Jumeau, Author
"Great Course, Derek. Your channel is my go-to for in depth study and inspiration. Nothing has helped me more, or brought more clarity, than this series. Extremely grateful."
"I have been struggling to figure out how to mesh Save the Cat 3 Act structure with the 27 Chapter Method and my god you did it! I can't even tell you the level of help I've received by watching your videos, reading your articles, and going through your resources. Truly first class and so beneficial. Thanks again!"
1: Fiction Writing Basics $197 - I've gone even deeper and organized a new course on writing novels with some advanced writing techniques you've never seen before, on creating intrigue and suspense. This course will help you create a page-turning novel that readers can't put down.
2: Nonfiction Mastery $197 - This course is meant just for nonfiction authors, memoir or narrative nonfiction writers, thought leaders, visionaries or online business owners who want a book that builds an audience and creates trust and rapport.
3: Publish on a Budget - A crash course on self-publishing, avoiding scams, saving thousands of dollars and publishing a bookstore quality book without spending a ton.
4: Book Marketing is Dead - a newly revised edition of my guide to book marketing and author promotion.
"Thank u so much. This is seriously the best plot structure I have ever encountered. I was able to make a first draft of my plot outline with this in less than a hour. It finally looks like I´m getting somewhere. All thanks to you!"
- Ivette Castle, Novelist
"Huge fan of your 25-chapter plot template. I've read all the classics - Save the Cat, Story, etc. - many times over & the way you map out and describe the narrative flow really evokes logical scenes."
- Jake Anderson, True Crime
"I have been on the fence with starting a novel but did not know where to start. I would research and plan to avoid feelings of guilt from procrastination but never really started a project. With this out online I feel like any barriers have been removed. I have started writing again for the first time in years. Thank you for getting me back in the saddle."
- Jeremy Eicke, Novelist
"Being a writer with ADHD... Your stuff is the clearest presentation about how to structure plot that I've ever come across. I always get stuck when outlining. I over-complicate things and confuse myself. This helps so much. Thank you for breaking these concepts down in such a straightforward and thorough way."
- Emily Calder, writer
Need more help? (Get Feedback!)
Do you have a manuscript that you think is finished, but aren’t sure if it’s ready to publish? Are you worried about whether anybody else will think it’s any good? Are you putting together a book proposal or query to attract an agent or publisher, or preparing to self-publish for the first time? How about just starting a book, but want to make sure it’s marketable before you invest more time in it?
There's no substitute for real, constructive feedback from an expert editor. I rarely edit full books anymore (when I do I charge a minimum of $5000) but the truth is, you may not be ready for a full developmental edit or manuscript critique. What you probably need is some quick feedback on the first few pages.
Make sure you have a strong start and a killer opening before you waste extra time and money. Upgrade for an in-depth structural critique of your first 5000 words. I will help you figure out who your audience is and how to captivate them from the get-go.
I can help take your project's pulse and figure out:
1. is it breathing
2. will anybody else want to read this
3. your target audience and genre/topic
4. amateur mistakes
5. will readers care enough to keep reading
This is an in-depth developmental edit focusing on the commercial value of your manuscript. Whether you plan to hook an traditional publisher or self-publish, figuring out the value of your manuscript is crucial for getting agents or readers to buy.
"Your suggestions have been wonderful! There was a lot of input you provided that I had not even considered, and will definitely help overall! Looking forward to going through the remainder of your suggestions tomorrow! Thank you again for your time!"
- Jacky, Personal Memoir
"I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to do a developmental edit on this. It was above and beyond and is greatly appreciated. It was exactly the guidance I needed to hear, and I would have waited three weeks for that, let alone a few days. Your insights will go a long way towards making this the best novel it can be."
- Mikael Carlson, Thriller Author
“Finally, someone with the skills for analyzing a novice writer. Before meeting Derek Murphy, the “agents” I met in the publishing industry did nothing but side-step my requests for evaluation. It is now evident to me that the rubric which measures whether your book is sell-able or dead in the water, is literary experience. Your analysis combined honest evaluation with the goal being to produce a better book. I love the straightforward way you addressed my writing. I believe, this type of fed-back is essential to ANYONE who is writing. Your insight has proved invaluable”.
- Dr. George A. Munger, PhD
"This is EXACTLY the kind of feedback I was hoping for. Most appreciated. I have been continuing to tweak the story, but your feedback has really given me things I can sink my teeth into!"
- P. J. Viscio, Horror Author
"First of all, I would like to say that your editing on the intro, epilogue and first chapter is impressive! Finally, I was thinking that I am lucky to have found you. You are the best coach I could have!"
- Panagiotis Bampalis, Heath & Fitness
Let's get serious for a minute...
Writing books is hard, but it's made even more difficult by all the bad advice. When new authors ask for specific and helpful resources to make writing easier, the majority of comments say things like there's just no shortcut other than practice.
There's a misguided assumption that only writers who suffer for their art deserve to succeed, even when it's also true that the majority of bestselling books and authors aren't truly writing groundbreaking literary masterpieces.
Readers don't want convoluted expressions of creativity, with fancy purple prose but unlikable characters and a boring plot. But that doesn't mean you necessarily have to write commercial fiction, either.
But there is definitely a way to write that sucks readers in, a "best way" to tell a story - by avoiding the hundreds of common mistakes new authors face. And not only can you learn to spin out manuscripts faster, but you can learn to edit them and improve your writing without paying thousands of dollars for a developmental editor.
Literary purists ignore the rules at their own peril, and make book writing much harder than it needs to be. And while I'm not famous for some catchy book writing method, I'm managed to publish 20+ books and sell 75,000 copies. That doesn't mean I know anything... but the authors who have discovered my resources - even after reading every other guide to writing out there - are still pretty impressed by my unique approach.
Derek Murphy has a PhD in Literature and has been featured in CNN for hosting writing retreats in medieval castles. After working with thousands of authors as a writing coach and developmental author, he began developing plotting cheatsheets and advanced writing tips for authors that now have nearly 3 million views on YouTube.
StartBrainstorming cool ideas (worldbuilding) (11:40)
StartCharacter Development (16:44)
StartAn 8 point guide to commercial fiction (63:04)
Start25 chapter plot outline for fiction (49:59)
StartWhat if my book doesn't fit the outline?
StartHow to start your novel (prologue vs. chapter one) (19:38)
StartWriting scenes (hook and keep attention) (20:11)
StartThe 3 kinds of conflict you MUST have in your novel if you want readers to care what happens
Start2 rules for creating nail-biting tension and conflict in your novel
StartMy revision and self-editing process