The courses, playbooks, and guides below are FREE for logged-in students. And Storysmith U is free to join. Click any course below to create an account and start learning.
But if you see something you like, don't delay. Some of the free courses are only free for a limited time, so be sure to click into them and work through at least a few lessons to reserve your enrollment spot.
Learn about the 6 types of beliefs that make up a character's belief system and how these beliefs can hook directly into your plot. When you enroll in this quickie, guide-style course, you'll get access to exclusive examples, charts, and discussion that will show you how to identify the different pieces of your characters' belief systems and how to leverage them for your story growth arcs.
The courses, playbooks, and guides in the list below are available for purchase. Some of them offer free, limited previews, so click through to the ones that catch you eye and enjoy the sample. You can purchase any of these from their course pages below.
Your hero's backstory is more than just a collection of memories and experiences. It is a powerful tool in your writing skillset, and a strategically crafted backstory can even help you break through writer's block. In the How to build a Breakthrough Backstory playbook, I walk you through the 6 steps that will simplify and focus your writing time. Stop chasing plot bunnies and writing random scenes, and zero in on the choices that matter most.
In just 30 minutes a day, you'll learn three powerhouse techniques for choosing smart verbs so you can write simple, clean prose that pops. Interactive quizzes at the end of each lesson show you where you need to focus your study. And you'll have the opportunity to see how other writers are using their verbs. The best part? You'll level up your prose in just three days.
Releases on August 29!
Coming soon to Storysmith U.
Character is the heart of story
When you start writing at the heart of the story, you miss out on all the possibilities that can trickle down from the heart of the character.
In this series of articles, playbooks, and the final course, you'll learn how to funnel the breadth of your character's life experiences into the depth of the story you want to tell.
Good character-driven stories should always start with character, and I'll give you the tools you need to craft memorable, dynamic heroes that will captivate your readers.
- The foundation of this learning series starts with the Powerful Character Transformations collection of free articles on my public website.
- My playbooks will guide you through how to connect all those little bits of knowledge into focused strategies for each step of building your character profile. See the 2022 playbook release schedule below.
- Then, in my signature course, you'll learn how to apply everything you've learned to your own work so you can start creating captivating characters readers will always remember. The Creating Captivating Character Profiles course is coming this November.
Here's what's coming this year:
Plot is built on character arc
In a character-driven story, the hero's journey of transformation is the backbone of every major plot element. I often see authors get so caught up in how to the story that they forget why those story pieces matter.
In my Character-Driven Plot series of articles, playbooks, and the final course, you'll learn how to identify the critical moments in a character's story, translate those moments into journey milestones, then construct a tight narrative that hits readers right in the feels.
Stop fixating on GMCs and plot elements in isolation and learn how to tie them all together into one cohesive writing process. Once you experience just how quickly the Story Snapshot Method can simplify and focus your first draft, you'll never go back to traditional plotting (or pantsing!) methods.
- The foundation of this learning series starts with the Character-Driven Plot collection of free articles on my public website.
- My playbooks will guide you through how to make strategic story decisions and avoid common storytelling pitfalls. See the 2023 playbook release schedule below.
- Then, in my signature course, you'll learn my super simple and incredibly powerful technique for transforming your character's growth arc into a rock-solid Story Snapshot you can build your manuscript on. The Story Snapshot Method course will release next July.
Here's what's coming next year:
Style is the heart of your voice
Line-level style editing is one of the most difficult skills to master as a fiction writer. It takes more than simply learning a rubric or plugging words into a formula. Understanding when you should not break the rules and when you should is the key to writing striking prose that sets your storytelling voice apart.
Line editing is one of my favorite areas of writing to dig into, and I am creating a series of playbooks and courses (several of them!) to show you how to develop the linguistic foundation and grammatical expertise that will elevate your prose from meh to memorable.
Step by step, you'll learn what mistakes to avoid, what principles should guide your decisions, and which techniques will unlock your personal secret sauce.
The first course, Bombshell Verbs, will release this July.
Not sure what line editing is? Start here.
Here's what's coming this year and next: