How I Plotted My Novel In An Afternoon (and you can too…)

DISCLAIMER: This is not an affiliate post – I receive no financial benefit whatsoever. I simply wanted to share the benefits of Eva Deverell’s course. 

Although this belief has been tested time and again, and will continue to be so, I remain a firm champion of serendipity. Nearly six years have passed since the first and only time I threw myself into the saddle for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2009. The novel I produced then is inelegant, ungainly, and perhaps most importantly unfinished.

Just recently, though, I’ve had that novelistic urge again. Never mind that it’s not November, that I’m doing an MA and supposedly haven’t got time. I have four hours a night at least that I fritter away on social media, doing nothing much. What if, I thought, this is the time I use to write my novel?

The thought came to me on Saturday, at around the same time as I rediscovered The Sprint Shack on Twitter. Their community uses short time limits to encourage significant word counts. By the end of three 20-minute ‘sprints’, I’d written nearly 3,500 words. Following the end of the final sprint, I began tweeting with @EvaDeverell:


Buoyed by Eva’s enthusiasm, I checked out her website, and promptly discovered the wonders of The One Page Novel.


‘The One Page Novel’ is Eva’s incredible (currently free!) e-course. She takes you through a sixteen step process, on two sides of a standard A4 sheet. I was fortunate enough to have the basis of my project already, through a Faber Academy QuickFic prompt, but Eva’s framework has given me the rest of my novel.

I’ll not say too much about the course here, because it must be seen and worked through to be believed. Through the process I have discovered that Take My Hand (provisional title) will be a Young Adult novel, rather than anything that I had previously thought it would be.

There were other discoveries along the way, but those will be clearer when the novel is finally finished. For the first time in a long time, thanks to Eva and her course, I have a very real sense that one of my ideas will become an honest-to-goodness book at some point in the future.

If you have a half-formed idea struggling for recognition, you might consider signing up for Eva’s course. It is a foolproof way of getting words from brain to page without too much fuss. As well as The One Page Novel, Eva offers a number of other delights to writers through her author website. Downloads of worksheets and other exclusive content are available to members of her creatively named ‘Coterie’.

N.B. ‘The One Page Novel’ is a separate service, available from

Sharing the Wealth

Over to you – what services have you found, or do you offer, to fellow writers and readers? Leave a link and tell us about your courses, e-books, mailing list offers…

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4 comments on “How I Plotted My Novel In An Afternoon (and you can too…)

  1. plaguedparents says:

    I recently came across Sprint Shack on twitter and wondered if it was fun, sounds like it is! Productive and good for networking too, thanks for sharing your post and the great information!


  2. Oh how exciting to hear Casey! Loving the idea of writing sprints. Oh and yep, lots of people think they haven’t got time to do something like writing a novel and like you said spend however many hours on social media or watching TV. Sounds like a wonderful amount of time to be creative in to me! Go you! Look forward to hearing how you get on x


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