Finishing a Manuscript in 60 Days
4.3 (298 ratings)
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Finishing a Manuscript in 60 Days

"Learn how to write a first manuscript in 60 days using a method developed by Amazon bestselling author J. Thorn."
4.3 (298 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
7,689 students enrolled
Created by James Thorn
Last updated 3/2017
English
Price: Free
Includes:
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 4 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Main Objective: Finish the first draft of a novel in 60 days using the best practices of project management. Additionally, students will be able to...
  • Write the manuscript using a customized workbook to keep track of plot, character and word count.
  • Identify genre-specific word count targets in order to determine optimal length for publication.
  • Utilize one of the seven basic story types to create a new novel.
  • Organize the manuscript into three acts.
  • Determine next steps in the publishing process, including editing, formatting and cover design.
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • Students must have a desire to write a novel.
Description

You have a story inside and yet every day you stare at the keyboard, paralyzed and unsure of how to begin. You’ve tried to get your thoughts organized but you don’t have a strategy, and that leaves you feeling empty and defeated.

My name is J. Thorn and there was a time when I didn’t know where to begin either. It can be frustrating trying to organize your project. I know how hollow and helpless that feels because I've been there. I can teach you what you need to know in a way you'll understand, so you'll be able to finish that manuscript in 60 days and feel like a champion.

The hard truth is that to write a novel, you must write. No shortcuts or fancy software will do it for you. If you wanted to get in shape, you’d ask a trainer to teach you a workout. You’d want to learn the process from a professional so you could do it for yourself.

A little help with organization and you can do what you thought was impossible. I’ve written more than ten novels and I’m going to share my process with you, which means you’ll feel confident and ready to finish that manuscript.

Sure. You could search Google for the best way to write a novel. You'll get thousands, if not millions, of hits and most of them will contradict each other. Some will be written by people claiming to be authors, yet they've never written a single book. You'll waste countless hours and never get exactly what you need.

Or you can take my course and start writing that novel today. Right now.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is best suited for a student who has a passion for writing novels but struggles to write it due to a lack of organization or structure. This course is not about creative writing or book marketing although the new appendix is full of proven book marketing techniques and tips.
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Curriculum For This Course
18 Lectures
01:29:00
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Making the Decision
6 Lectures 16:09

Highlights: This description will summarize the lecture and can be used as a visual guide. You can also print it out and take notes during the lecture.

Lecture 1: About the course and the Udemy platform.

About the course and the Udemy platform.
05:05

Highlights: This description will summarize the lecture and can be used as a visual guide. You can also print it out and take notes during the lecture.

Lecture 2: So you want to be a novelist...

  • Will not make you a "good" writer.
  • Will not teach you how to "game" the system.
  • Will show you how to finish a manuscript in 60 days.
  • Will give you a template to do so.
So you want to be a novelist…
02:32

Highlights: This description will summarize the lecture and can be used as a visual guide. You can also print it out and take notes during the lecture.

Lecture 3: Where to Begin

  • Ordinary people dropped into extraordinary situations.

Need help with prompts? Check out the free resources at Bryan Cohen's website, "Build-creative-writing-ideas."

Where to Begin
02:24

Highlights: This description will summarize the lecture and can be used as a visual guide. You can also print it out and take notes during the lecture.

Lecture 4: The Tools

  • Keep it simple.
The Tools
01:24

Highlights: This description will summarize the lecture and can be used as a visual guide. You can also print it out and take notes during the lecture.

Lecture 5: The Plan

  • Take this method and tweak it for yourself.
The Plan
01:09

Highlights: This description will summarize the lecture and can be used as a visual guide. You can also print it out and take notes during the lecture.

Lecture 6: The Secret

  • Stay disciplined.
  • Be accountable to yourself.
The Secret
03:35

Section 1
5 questions
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Taking Action
3 Lectures 11:47

Highlights: This description will summarize the lecture and can be used as a visual guide. You can also print it out and take notes during the lecture.

Lecture 7: The Seven Story Archetypes

Overcoming the Monster — A hero defeats a monster and has to restore order to the world threatened by it.

Examples:

Perseus, Theseus, Beowulf, Dracula, War of the Worlds, The Guns of Navarone, Seven Samurai and its Western-style remake The Magnificent Seven, James Bond and Star Wars: A New Hope


Rags to Riches — A modest and humble “everyperson” usually oppressed in some way, who due to their special talents is revealed to the world, usually with a happy ending.

Examples:

Cinderella, Aladdin, Jane Eyre, Great Expectations, David Copperfield


The Quest — A hero is searching for a treasure or prize, sometimes an item that will save his world. Along with a close friend or side kick, the hero defeats evil against all odds, winning the treasure or prize.

Examples:

The Iliad, The Pilgrim’s Progress, King Solomon's Mines, Watership Down, The Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings


Voyage and Return — Although similar to The Quest, Voyage and Return is an “everyperson” hero who is suddenly put in an extraordinary situation and must make his or her way back to normality.

Examples:

The Odyssey, Alice in Wonderland, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Orpheus, The Time Machine, Peter Rabbit, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Gone with the Wind


Comedy — The plot involves confusion that must be resolved before the hero and heroine can be united. Although the Comedy can involve humor, it does not have to be a primary component of the story.

Examples:

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, Twelfth Night, Bridget Jones's Diary, Four Weddings and a Funeral


Tragedy — Usually not a happy story, a tragedy chronicles the consequences of pride, ego and greed.

Examples:

Macbeth, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Carmen, Bonnie and Clyde, Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, John Dillinger, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar


Rebirth — Rebirth focuses on the idea of redemption or restoration. A dark force seems to be close to winning the battle when a series of random or divine events lead to redemption for the hero and a happy world.

Examples:

Sleeping Beauty, The Frog Prince, Beauty and the Beast, The Snow Queen, A Christmas Carol, The Secret Garden, Life Is a Dream, Despicable Me

*For more info, check out Christopher Booker's The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories.

The Seven Story Archetypes
04:51

Highlights: This description will summarize the lecture and can be used as a visual guide. You can also print it out and take notes during the lecture.

Lecture 8: Genre

  • Write what you enjoy reading.
Genre
01:18

Highlights: This description will summarize the lecture and can be used as a visual guide. You can also print it out and take notes during the lecture.

Lecture 9: The Three Act Story

Act 1 – The Setup

Act 1 introduces us to the protagonist living a normal life. However, something happens (also known as an inciting incident) that upsets the main character’s notion of “normal” and plunges him or her into a new, unknown future.

Act 2 – Confrontation

Act 2 is where the protagonist encounters resistance. The character faces minor challenges at first, with each subsequent challenge becoming more difficult to overcome. Towards the end of Act 2, the protagonist appears to “save the day” but just before that happens, something goes terribly wrong and the character is in the darkest, most dire part of the story. Nobody knows how the protagonist will overcome the biggest obstacle he or she has ever faced.

Act 3 – Resolution

Act 3 is the climax of the story when the protagonist and antagonist meet to do battle. In most stories, the protagonist wins. However, some stories end with the protagonist losing. This confrontation can set up the subsequent installment in a serialized story. The last part of Act 3 also includes the dénouement where the survivors return to “normal” but they’ve been fundamentally changed by the experience.

The Three Act Story
05:38

Section 2
3 questions
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Writing (Act 1, Act 2, Act 3)
3 Lectures 10:05

Highlights: This description will summarize the lecture and can be used as a visual guide. You can also print it out and take notes during the lecture.

Lecture 10: Writing Environment and Habits

J.’s Writing Environment and Habits

  • Write early in the morning.
  • Have everything you need in your writing space.
  • Stand up.
  • Turn off all distractions such as internet and phone.
  • Create quiet or use white noise in headphones.
  • Hit your word count no matter what.
  • Back up everything.
Writing Environment and Habits
05:44

Highlights: This description will summarize the lecture and can be used as a visual guide. You can also print it out and take notes during the lecture.

Lecture 11: Using the Workbook

Worksheet Components:

1. Day/Session info

2. Scene scale

3. Advice and notes

4. Inspiration

5. Session summary

6. Thinking ahead

Using the Workbook
03:16

Lecture 12: What's Next?

  • Want to get a head start on editing, formatting and cover design before you finish your manuscript in 60 days? If you leave a review for this course, I'll send you a bonus lecture along with a growing resource list to help you get that book to market. Thanks!
What's next?
01:05

Section 3
1 question
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The Appendix (Publishing & Marketing Tips)
6 Lectures 50:59

New additions to the class!

Learn how to market and sell your book in "The Appendix." New topics will be posted periodically and you can leave requests in the comments.

The Appendix - Introduction
03:02

The Product Description

The Product Description
09:14

The Title and Cover

There is no worksheet necessary for this lesson. Two links referenced in the video:

Derek Murphy's website = http://www.creativindie.com/

Cover evolution from J.'s talk at AuthorMarketingLive14 = https://youtu.be/4RSZXEkdBiA?t=22m

The Title and Cover
07:42

Author Website, Branding & List Building

Author Website, Branding & List Building
07:49

Social Media

Social Media
08:41

The Mailing List

There is no worksheet necessary for this lesson.

The Mailing List
14:31
About the Instructor
James Thorn
4.3 Average rating
297 Reviews
7,689 Students
1 Course
An Amazon Top 5 Horror Author

J. Thorn is a Top 100 Most Popular Author in Horror, Science Fiction, Action & Adventure and Fantasy (Amazon Author Rank). He has published over one million words and has sold more than 150,000 books worldwide. In March of 2014 Thorn held the #5 position in Horror alongside his childhood idols Dean Koontz and Stephen King (at #4 and #2 respectively). He is an official, active member of the Horror Writers Association and a member of the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers. J. is a contributor to Disinformation and a staff writer for HeavyPlanet as well as a founding board member of the Author Marketing Institute.

Thorn earned a B.A. in American History from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.A. from Duquesne University. He has spent the last twenty years researching mysticism and the occult in colonial American history.