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For the writer who knows their novel could be amazing—if only they got their story unstuck…

Build the foundation your novel needs to thrive, rediscover the core of your story, and get your writing back on track! With the right diagnosis, you can finally see your novel through clear eyes.

After months (or more) of spinning in circles, it's easy to feel like your novel is on life support...

You started this draft with big plans. You had a vision for your story and boundless excitement for what your novel’s future might hold. Sure enough, you dove straight into writing!

However, along the way, the cracks began to show.

You started to notice holes in your story. You found yourself unsure what should come next, realized you didn’t know your characters and plot as well as you thought, and kept stumbling over the same problems again and again.

In the process, you began to second guess your story. You want this novel to be the best it can be, and you know something isn’t working—you just don’t know what.

“I wish my story just made sense.”

If I had a nickel for every writer who’s made that wish, I wouldn’t be rich, but only because nickels aren’t worth what they used to be.

All jokes aside, I see you writer.

You’re passionate about your novel. You’ve been dreaming of writing for a long time, and now that you’re taking it seriously, you want to get it right. But as it stands, every revision you make only digs you deeper into a hole you don’t know how to get out of.

The articles you read say you “just need to perfect your character’s relationships/voice/backstory, then everything will come together.”

Except it isn't...

That book you bought a few months back promises, “with this new routine/tool/software, you’ll be writing thousands of words each week.”

Except you aren't...

You’ve made a few more revisions, learned some (likely confusing) storytelling techniques, and are still just as overwhelmed as when you started. Nothing connects. Nothing solves your problem.

It feels like you’re writing through a thick fog.

Is there an answer? Or are you better off starting over on some other draft?

Well, yes and no…

Yes, there is a way to make your novel work—and no, you should not give up on your story!

What you need is a way to see the problems in your draft through clear eyes.

  • You need to know what truly matters to your novel, and what’s just a nice-to-have.
  • You need to stop overwhelming yourself with your writing process.
  • And you need to let go of the beliefs that are strangling your creativity.

Above all, you need to connect it all into a steady foundation for your story.

That foundation is what I’m here to help you find.

Welcome to...

The killer combo of theory and action that will help you clear the fog surrounding your story, rediscover your writing focus, and create a plan to guide both you and your draft...

All in a weekend or less!

Here's what you'll find inside...

The 80/20 Rule of Writing

A crash course on why 20% of your novel will be responsible for 80% of its success. You don’t need to know everything to write an amazing story—but you do need a strong foundation.

Clearing Your Head

Step back and clear your head in our second lesson, where we’ll explore all the ways your mindset might be sabotaging your novel without you even realizing it.

RESOURCE: Self-Assessment

Complete this quick self-assessment to help you look at your draft more objectively, and start cutting through the fog that’s been making it so hard to write.

Five Pillars of Fantastic Fiction

All great stories rest on five common pillars. Hone in on the storytelling principles that will determine your novel's success, and then map them out for your own story!

RESOURCE: The Storytelling Stress Test

A handy storytelling stress test for analyzing your novel’s five pillars, as well as over a dozen common pitfalls you’ll want to watch for.

The Missing Link of Most Drafts

In Lesson Four, we’ll peer behind the curtain of your writing process and look at how the problems in your draft might have nothing to do with your story itself.

RESOURCE: Polished Process Questionnaire

In the style of an old Cosmo quiz, we’ll take a closer look at your writing process, tally your results, and a make some big decisions about where to place your focus!

Getting Back on Your Feet

For our final lesson together, it’s time to take everything you've learned and combine it into a detailed game plan. This will guide you as you return to writing, and is where all your hard work finally pays off.

RESOURCE: Writing Game Plan

Of course, you won’t create this game plan alone! Follow along with a series of prompts to build your plan from the ground up as you clarify your new vision for your novel.

What makes Diagnose Your Draft work is that it’s simple in the best of ways.

  • You won’t have to muddle through dozens of precise, advanced storytelling rules.
  • You won’t sit through hours of lessons, when you can barely make time to write as is.
  • And you won’t walk away more overwhelmed than when you started.

Instead, you’ll get permission to go back to basics and discover why writing a novel can (and quite frankly should) be simple. You’ll develop the clearest vision of your story you’ve had in a while—as well as the plan you need to return to writing with confidence!

Diagnose Your Draft

Work your way through five focused video lessons, guided by four helpful writing resources. By signing up, you’ll get lifetime access to the course along with any future updates!

It's nice to meet you writer!

I’m Lewis Jorstad, an author and developmental editor who has spent the last five years helping up-and-coming writers find confidence and clarity as they bring their best stories to life. I deeply believe that everyone is capable of writing a fantastic novel—they just need the right tools for the job.

However, I’m also the first to admit that too many tools is just as much of a problem as too few.

If you’re staring at your draft thinking “I just don’t understand what’s wrong,” diving off the deep end into the fine details of the writing craft will only overwhelm you further. Without a solid foundation, no amount of perfectly written character voice, backstory, plot points, prose, or polish will help you find your footing.

That’s why I created Diagnose Your Draft.

For all those writers I meet who are burnt out trying to make their story work, when what they really need is to step back, get a clearer perspective, and build the foundation their novel needs to thrive.

Of course, I have a life outside of writing too! Here are some fun facts about me:

I once befriended a squirrel named Tom, who would visit us every morning at 7AM for peanuts. I’m not sure if we trained him, or he trained us—but either way, he was a sassy little lad.

I make a mean homemade bagel (courtesy of Claire Saffitz from NYT Cooking). It’s a surprisingly good workout, plus you get to eat your weight in carbs afterwards!

I’m tragically allergic to caffeine, so my late-night writing binges are fueled entirely by pure, all-natural insomnia. Unsurprisingly, I’m really not a morning person.

Got questions? We've got answers!

Your story’s success will depend on a lot of things.

Still, I want to get you thinking…

Right now, I imagine your novel’s future feels rather hazy. Sure, you could keep chipping away at chunks of your draft in hopes of reaching a breakthrough—and maybe it’ll work eventually.

But wouldn’t it be a relief to know you’re on the right path, without spending months struggling to figure out (and likely breaking) the story you care so much about?

Though the writing journey is always a bit uncertain, I’m here to tell you that your novel has potential, and so do you! All you need is a guiding hand and a few core principles to get back on your feet, so you can return to your draft with newfound confidence.

I can’t wait to take that journey with you inside Diagnose Your Draft.

---- Lewis

When you're ready, I'll see you on the inside!

Diagnose Your Draft

Work your way through five focused video lessons, guided by four helpful writing resources. By signing up, you’ll get lifetime access to the course along with any future updates!