Finish your book this year

Learn your craft. Stay Accountable. Get inspired.

Michelle Richmond
The Caffeinated Writer
5 min readJan 24, 2024


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If you’ve been reading this newsletter for a while, you may know that when it comes to writing, I’m all about patience. I believe the slow and steady approach yields better, more meaningful results than fast-paced writing marathons. A book takes time to percolate. The book you set out to write is never exactly the book you end up writing. Even if you outline, you will in many ways discover the story as you go. The story will take turns you didn’t expect, and your characters will deepen, revealing aspects of themselves you didn’t fully understand when you sat down to write chapter one.

Once a year, I teach a nine-month course called Novel in Nine. The 2024 session begins on Feburary 5th. If you want to write a book this year, and if you need structure and accountability to help you see your book through to completion, Novel in Nine can help. It’s all about writing with patience and intention. It’s about giving yourself the time you need, as well as valuable support that will help you maintain your momentum through the challenging middle distance.

Learn more

Novel in Nine is suitable for both novelists and memoirists. If you have a book-in-progress, Novel in Nine will give you the tools to complete it. If your novel or memoir is just an idea in your head and you haven’t yet written a single word, Novel in Nine will help you write it from the first page to the last.

What you get in Novel in Nine:

  • weekly video and written lessons and assignments, every week for nine months
  • monthly live group coaching sessions (attendance is optional, and all sessions are recorded so you can watch them later)
  • monthly word count check-ins to help you stay accountable
  • ongoing discussions
  • optional monthly critique

What you will accomplish: By writing about 2,000 words per week, you will complete a solid draft of your novel or memoir by the end of October.

Start date: February 5, 2024

Every week, we dive into issues of narrative craft: characterization, point of view, dialogue, setting, structure, plot, voice, scene construction, and more. You will learn how to infuse your opening chapters with urgency, how to create a subplot and weave it into the larger narrative, how to handle point of view, how to add depth to your writing with research, how to create suspense in any genre, how to maintain your momentum through the novel or memoir’s middle distance, how to craft a strong midpoint, how to bring your story to a satisfying and surprising conclusion, and so much more.

During month nine, we will focus on strategies for revision. We will also discuss finding a literary agent, writing a query letter, and navigating the publishing landscape.

When you join Novel in Nine, you get access to an extensive library of written and video lessons, as well as direct access to me and my decades of experience writing, teaching, and publishing.

You also become part of a small, supportive writing community. Previous students have included therapists, tech workers, journalists, a producer of a major true crime show, a writer for a hit TV series, a sculptor, a Broadway performer, a retired FBI agent, a popular blogger, a trucking company operator, a pastor, small business owners, a librarian, an attorney, stay-at-home parents, a professional athlete, published novelists, a pediatric neurosurgeon, teachers, and more.

Everyone is welcome, whether you’re working on your first book or your third. I strive to create a positive, supportive space for everyone, where we learn from and are inspired by each other.

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Praise for Novel in Nine

“Novel in Nine was much more than a class for me, it was a transformation. I had tried for years and years to write a novel, always unsuccessfully. Under Michelle’s guidance, I was able to complete my first novel in a seamless, uncomplicated, and manageable workflow. Her experienced directives help me move through my writing to that final goal. I am forever grateful for this class, and for Michelle’s help. I’d do it again.” Polly K.

“It was a wonderful experience…We started with little seeds of an idea, and with Michelle’s guidance and insight, we brought them to light.” Bradford D.

“I’ve learned the most from taking this class because it taught me to just show up on the page without fear.” Kim S.

“I found Novel in Nine to be a comprehensive step-by-step method of completing a novel in nine months…I would definitely recommend the class to all writers, and to especially those who are experiencing hiccups, writers’ block, or self-doubt.” Joanne H.

“I signed up for Novel in Nine as a novice writer seeking guidance on taming my 140k-word manuscript…I left with a manuscript of less than 60K words that was focused and captured the essence I sought…Michelle’s lessons, submission feedback, and online meetings with peers helped shape me into a better novelist.” Fred Smullin

“Novel in Nine was even more than I had expected. Who would imagine I would write a full 75,000-word first draft of a novel in only nine months? This class was always a bright spot in my week. Michelle has top-notch writing expertise and teaching skills, and she is generous with her time and input. She and the other serious-writer classmates provided valuable feedback and motivation. Novel in Nine was the perfect way to make novel writing a priority, and get to THE END in a timely way.” Kathy B.

This one-of-a-kind cohort happens just once a year. If you want to grow as a writer, find your writing community, and get your novel or memoir on the page in 2024, I would love to see you in class.

Learn more

About your instructor: I’ve been mentoring writers for more than twenty years. I’m also a working writer: my books include six novels with Random House and Grove Atlantic and two story collections. I have taught in the Masters of Fine Arts programs in creative writing at the University of San Francisco, Bowling Green State University, California College of the Arts, St Mary’s College of Moraga, and Notre Dame de Namur University, and I have designed and taught novel writing for Stanford Continuing Studies.

This class happens only once a year. Go here to learn more and save your spot.

Go here to save your spot.