30-Day Plan Your Novel Course

Enrollment is closed for this year.

You can still sign up to stay notified when enrollment opens next year.


This course is designed for the writer with a life — you have other activities that you’re committed to in addition to writing.



This course runs from October 1-30, 2015

In this course, you’ll plan your novel and prepare to write it — either for NaNoWriMo or on your own.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and takes place every November (and a smaller event every July called Camp Nanowrimo.) A free event, writers use NaNoWriMo to “win” the challenge of writing a 50,000-word novel. “Winners” get a certificate and the pride in completing a manuscript.

In our Plan Your Novel: 30-Day Writing Challenge, we help you think and write through the steps to create your novel — from character development to plot structure to story themes and world building — so that you can start writing your novel confident and prepared.

We run the class via a few mediums: email, private password-protected course platform, premium live webinars and conference calls (recorded), and a premium private Facebook group — Fellowship of the Pen —  to build community and connect with your fellow writers for support and accountability.



Who is this course for?

For: Beginning writers and experienced writers who want to plan their novel in an organic or step-by-step way, so that on November 1st you can start with a firm foundation to start writing it alongside the NaNoWriMo.org crowd, or on your own.

This course is co-taught by two experienced writers and teachers with 18 books and 5 awards between them.

We’ve been where you are.

As a certified creativity coach, Beth Barany has years of experience helping writers start novels and complete their novels. Ezra Barany is an experienced teacher and writer.

We know you’re busy with other obligations AND you want to be writing. Well, you can, in small, manageable bite-sized pieces. Each activity can be done in as little as 15-30 minutes. You can plan your novel in a way that fits into your life. We know, because we’ve done it, multiple times!

With this course, you’ll be able to:

    • Plan your novel
    • Step into a sense of satisfaction and creative accomplishment
    • Get excited for NaNoWriMo
    • Be able to start writing your novel
    • Believe that you can write a novel
    • Gain confidence in your story telling abilities

What can you expect: You’ll put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard and write while you think, in specific ways, with specific focuses. Words will pile up, along with ideas, story questions, and scenes.

You’ll be invited to read short lessons, watch some video or listen to the lessons, then write — put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard and actually do some thinking of your story on the page.

This class is good for you:

    • If you have never written a novel, and have always wanted to, and still feel lost on how to go from brilliant idea to The End, then you will be stretched in new and different ways.
    • If you’re an experienced novelist, with 1 or 2 completed or partially completed novels under your bed. You may find this course structured in a way that’s new to you and yet familiar.
    • If you have 5 or more unfinished novels sitting in a drawer, and always hit that sagging middle and lose focus or lose interest, this course will help you dream up exciting ways to torture, I mean challenge, your characters all the way to the resolution of the story.


Christie Maurer's The Dark Lady’s Stone (#30daywc)

Christie Maurer, author of The Dark Lady’s Stone

“Your class was VERY helpful. I listened to your presentation again and went over your tips. What helped me the most was your character development questions.” — Christie Maurer, author of The Dark Lady’s Stone




Date: October 1-30, 2015

A 30-day course, structured so you can do it at your own pace.

Your time commitment: All told, if you follow the curriculum, you will probably spend 4 – 10 hours or more over the month to follow through on the assignments and exercises, all designed to help you plan your novel, so that you are prepared and can just sit down and write. Of course, some of you will spend less and some may spend more time on this course.

This course is designed with the understanding that you have a busy life, full of commitments — family, job, second job, pets, friends, and oh yeah, sleep.


Testimonials-CAROL MALONE'S 3 BKS

Carol Malone, multi-genre author of Ladies Night, & Ladies Night: Christmas, Fight-Card Romances, & sweet historical romance

“I want to thank Beth Barany and Ezra Barany for taking the time … Their encouragement helped to get me on the stick and get ready to write my novel.” — Carol Malone, multi-genre author of Ladies Night, & Ladies Night: Christmas, Fight-Card Romances, & sweet historical romance



This course will cover:


Week 1: Elevator Pitch & Short Synopsis We will help you write the 1-2 paragraph story blurb, also know as the elevator pitch, that you can later use in a query letter. Next we’ll cover the 5-6 paragraph story synopsis that can form the basis of a synopsis agents and editors request. We’ll also touch on the story’s theme and genre to help you have a better idea of the focus of your story and also your audience’s expectations.


Week 2: Get to Know Your Main Characters We cover getting to know your main characters. Great stories start with great characters that you love! We’ll expand on the “10 Questions to Ask Your Characters” tip sheet (PDF) that you got when you signed up for the course. We also have more character questions to share with you and special exercises to help you get to know your characters so you can bring them to life when you write your novel.


Week 3: Story Plot & World Building We will help you design the story’s main plot points and get to know the world of your story better, in other words, world building. Plot comes from characters and from knowing your story world and from asking some good questions. We will help you design a plot that will keep readers at the edge of their seats turning pages deep into the night.


Week 4: Scene-by-Scene Outline & Plotting We guide you through the final preparation step of building your story scene-by-scene. We help you create an organic outline from all the notes and thinking that have gone before and also provide tips on a more linear approach to plotting your story. Once you have completed this exercise, and all the ones before, you’ll have a good sense of your entire story, and can sit down to write your novel with excitement and confidence.



Testimonials-30daywc-Tricia Riel, Zephrum Gates

Tricia Riel, author of the Zephrum Gates series

“Beth & Ezra are super accessible… & they have great ideas for guiding an author’s success. It’s been fun to virtually meet other creative writers as well. The support is fabulous … a real community.” –– Tricia Riel, author of the Zephrum Gates series



2 levels of commitment:

1. Dive In

  • “10 Questions to Ask Your Characters” tip sheet (PDF), plus audio goodie.
  • Weekly emails prompts to get you writing. You’ll be guided each week on a new focus following the course structure above.
  • 2 live video teaching webinars with the instructors
  • 2 live group coaching teleseminars with the instructors
  • Step-by-Step instructions and examples in the form of Handouts, Templates, Checklists, Videos, Audios, and Quizzes (Lifetime access!)
  • A private Facebook group with the writers and the instructors so that you can be in community for support, accountability, and guidance

Dive In: $59

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2. All In

  • “10 Questions to Ask Your Characters” tip sheet (PDF), plus audio goodie.
  • Weekly emails prompts to get you writing. You’ll be guided each week on a new focus following the course structure above. 
  • 2 live video teaching webinars with the instructors
  • 2 live group coaching teleseminars with the instructors
  • Step-by-Step instructions and examples in the form of Handouts, Templates, Checklists, Videos, Audios, and Quizzes (Lifetime access!)
  • A private Facebook group with the writers and the instructors so that you can be in community for support, accountability, and guidance
  • Craft Compelling Characters, the companion homestudy course, that gives you a deeper dive into developing characters your readers can fall in love with ($49 value)
  • A one-on-one private 60-minute coaching call with Beth Barany to focus on shaping your story or questions about overcoming inner blocks, or both.
    • Normally, Beth’s coaching calls are billed at $225, but she’s offering a deal here to those who are committed to the challenge of preparing their novels.

All In: $99

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30daywc-testimonial-Diana Pardee-author

Diana Pardee, writers, creative entrepreneur

“I found that even though I feel I know my main character quite well, asking about these details {in Week 2} clarified things I hadn’t thought much about, and also reminded me to share more of those little details with my readers. I enjoyed this process and am working on doing the same for all my major characters.” — Diana Pardee, writers, creative entrepreneur


About the Instructors

Beth and Ezra Barany are award-winning, best-selling novelists, who have worked with over 100 authors to help them get their books written and published. 

Happily married for over 15 years, we’re passionate about writing, story telling, and guiding authors to achieve your dreams.

Together we have written and published 18 books, plus 3 audio books. Together and separately, we have taught thousands of students over the years, in both the public and private sector, including overseas in Paris, France. We both teach (and in Beth’s case, coach) and are working on writing and publishing our novels.

Why work with Beth and Ezra:

  • Beth has written and published 5 novellas, 2 novels, a collection of the romance novellas, a short story, and a novel prequel in the last few years. She also has more books coming out in 2016.
  • Beth has used this process successfully in each of her 5 novellas and 4 novels.
  • Beth has taught all these tools to other authors and has seen how effective these tools are.


Beth Barany's YA fantasy novels and magical contemporary romances on Amazon.com

Beth Barany’s books on Amazon.com

  • Ezra has written 4 novels during Nanowrimo.
  • He successfully uses the techniques that we teach.
  • Ezra has published 2 thrillers and is editing the third in his series this year.
Ezra Barany's thrillers on Amazon.com

Ezra Barany’s thrillers on Amazon.com

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30daywc-testimonial-Akasha Garnier

Akasha Garnier, author, producer

“I’ve enjoyed the exercises! I especially enjoyed having a few options to construct the synopsis with the spinner tool. :)” — Akasha Garnier, author, producer



What time are the weekly live calls?

All calls and webinars will be Tuesdays, 5-6:30pm Pacific. (Use this time converter to find your time zone.)

What is the difference between this course and your free Plan Your Novel mini-course?

This course is much expanded, including live teaching and support.

This course is live, the mini-course isn’t.
This course has 17+ lessons, the mini-course only has 7.
You get support from the two instructors in this course via the calls, webinars, and private community. In the mini-course, you don’t get this level of support.

What is your refund policy?

Due to the nature of committing to your writing, there is no refund for the course. If you are unable to attend the live calls, they are all recorded and downloadable.

Can I access the live webinars and calls after they occur?

You have 30 days from when the course ends to download all the October live webinars and calls. (Until Nov 30, 2015.)

Can I access the course material after the course has ended?

Yes! You have lifetime access to all of the course curriculum.

Can I download the course material?

Yes, I highly recommend you download the course lessons, videos, and audios. That way you can use the content without being connected to the Internet.

What if I can’t finish by the 30th?

We know that people go at their own pace. You can always return to the course at a later date and finish on your own.

When do I need to take advantage of the coaching call with Beth?

Schedule your call with Beth as soon as possible. You need to take advantage of actually having the call before November 30, 2015.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes, the scholarship application process is now open. Read more and apply here. Deadline to apply is Friday, Sept. 25, 6pm Pacific. (Use this handy time zone converter to determine when this is for you.)

Can I upgrade from one level to the next once the course has started?

Yes! Once the course has started, you can upgrade to the next level. We will be sending you information on how to do that.

What if I want to just take the self-paced/homestudy version of this course?

You can, at the Barany School of Fiction here.



Not ready to sign up for this course? Then grab your Get Started Gift here:

  • “10 Questions to Ask Your Characters” tip sheet (PDF), plus audio goodie

As an extra Bonus, you’ll be added to our Creativity Sparks weekly newsletter, for tips, support, and guidance for the genre novelist to write, publish, and market their novels.



If you still have questions for us, just contact us via email, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.