the 90-day novel® / memoir
LIVE on Zoom

Winter : Begins January 25th, 2021
Summer : begins June 28th, 2021

The 90-Day Novel is a Live-on-Zoom workshop with Alan Watt that will take you from initial idea to the completion of your novel or memoir's first draft in 90 days.

“The first draft of a book – even a long one – should not take longer than three months, the length of a season. If you spend too long on a piece, it begins to take on an odd foreign feel.”

Stephen King

GET THE FIRST DRAFT DOWN QUICKLY

The 90-Day Novel is about making a contract with your subconscious. Your subconscious is the seat of your genius, and there is a window of time that it can remain fully engaged in a creative task before it gets distracted, fatigued, or your ego begins to challenge it.

Genius is not a noun - it's a verb. The 90-Day Novel helps you tap into that primal well to which we all have access, by marrying the wildness of your imagination to the rigor of structure.

The 90-Day Novel is not about writing a polished first half of a novel or memoir, but rather, developing a coherent narrative, grounded in character, that leads to a transformation. When you connect to the heart of your story and hold your idea of the plot loosely…magic starts to happen.

The 90-Day Novel is a simple but powerful process that keeps you in your right brain, so that your subconscious can do the "heavy lifting" of developing a compelling narrative. Your left brain is good at doing one thing - solving problems - and while this is helpful in your everyday life, it's not as helpful in building a story...

         "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." - Albert Einstein

...because the purpose of story is to reveal a transformation. When we get stuck, we tend to ask ourselves questions, like "Why is this so difficult for me?" And our brain provides us with answers; our childhood was uneventful...we weren't properly schooled, etc. But creating art is not an assembling of facts, it is a search for the truth. Therefore, our challenge as writers mirrors that of our protagonist, namely surrendering a limiting belief of ourself or the world in order to be freed from it.

"The idea of bringing a first draft of a novel to fruition seemed too daunting and overwhelming to even consider until I was introduced to Al's 90-Day Novel Workshop. His methodology is deep and precise, and helps unearth unconscious themes and characters in you that let the story almost tell itself."

Rebecca de Mornay

Actress/Writer

“Al’s 90-Day Novel is the best writing workshop I have ever taken. The supportive nature of the class inspires and motivates you to write every day and to get to the true heart of your story. By the end of the 90th day, I had completed my rough draft (300 pages long) and developed a writing ritual that I have adopted for the rest of my life.”

Jennifer L. Scott

International Bestselling Author of Lessons From Madame Chic, Simon & Schuster

“I owe so much to Al Watt and the 90-Day Novel. It was in his workshop where my debut young adult novel, The Education of Margot Sanchez, came to life. He created such a safe and welcoming space that I was able to overcome my fears of failure and write freely. I still continue to incorporate what I’ve learned in his workshops in my daily practice.”

Lilliam Rivera

Nominated for 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adult

“For the daunting task of writing my first novel, I needed support and a nice kick in the pants.  Al has a great foot!  He is a skilled and adventuresome navigator, helping me explore what lies uniquely within my subconscious, which, when prodded with loving hands, knows the truth of my story all along.  Al sends out the perfect signals to get you to the end of your novel.”

Donna Powers

Screenwriter of The Italian Job

"The 90-Day Novel got me started and helped me form a good foundation. With the help of the exercises in Alan Watt's book, I grew to really know my characters, their complexes and their motivations. Investing the time to do this upfront made the writing of the novel very natural."

Keziah Frost

“The 90-Day Novel is the most fun and exhilarating feeling I have ever experienced, like falling in love. Really, I never had this feeling before, not at Harvard, not getting my book published, I don’t even know how to put it into words. Al Watt is the best teacher I have ever had. Al, thank you so much for sharing what you know and your experience with me.”

Maureen O'Crean

“Al Watt provides writers at every level with a safe place to engage their creativity. Through a combination of in-class writing, queries into structure, and repeated one-on-one dialogues, writers gain access to the subconscious, where the emotional truth of story abides. Al gives his all, while allowing writers to discover for themselves the strongest possible path to a completed work. I couldn’t be more grateful.”

Karen Palmer

Author of Border Dogs, Soho Press

“I resisted my story for five years, with “good reasons” to dodge the work. Al’s 90-Day Novel class changed that. The daily letters, stream-of-conscious writing exercises and tales of the other writers kept me focused, honest and committed. It was liberating to write without reflexive rewriting – a huge change for me! I surprised myself every day. Especially the day I finished.”

Peggy Mulloy

Unit publicist for Thor and Memoirs of a Geisha

“I couldn’t have written any of my books without The 90-Day Novel and The 90-Day Rewrite. Thank you Al for writing such invaluable tools. They keep me disciplined and in focus. I have recommended your books to anyone who has shown an interest in writing.”

Carol Treacy

"I sold my novel, Radiant Shimmering Light, to HarperCollins Canada a few weeks after I finished the 90-Day Rewrite. It’s now been published in four countries and optioned for a TV series. The 90 Day method is compassionate, sane, and leaves space for mystery (which I love).”

Sarah Selecky

Author of Radiant Shimmering Light, HarperCollins

“Al Watt’s 90-Day Novel is the ultimate gift to writers—an incubator for the stories you want to bring to the page from a place of emotional truth and from your heart. I wish I’d known about Al when I wrote my first novel. His mastery of story fills in the missing pieces and he guides you to your best work.”

Sarah Lovett

Bestselling author

“I couldn’t have completed The Count of the Sahara without the help of Al and the 90-Day Novel program. The questions I had to answer before even starting Day 1 were incredibly useful in breaking down the structure, helping me envision the story, and creating the characters that are the heart of the novel.”

Wayne Turmel

Bestselling author

“I already had an MFA and I teach and direct a college creative writing program, but I really didn’t have an organic understanding of story. Al’s ability to merge intuition and structure is unique and invaluable. I was able to work through my outline-phobia because of the way he approached structure as a holistic approach, rather than a rigid box. Al encourages the writer to live within the questions of the story, not the answers.”

Laraine Herring

Winner of the Barbara Deming Award for Women

"Nothing is scarier to a writer than a blank page. For years, that fear kept me from starting my novel. One day, I discovered L.A. Writers Lab’s 90-Day Novel workshop and enrolled immediately. I can’t say enough about how helpful Al’s instruction and support were to me. He helped me dig deep and discover the real story beneath the surface. If you’re serious about writing and publishing a book, look no further than L.A. Writers Lab.”

Raegan Teller

Honorable Mention, 2017 Writers Digest Award for Self-Published Books; 2019 Writers Digest Award

"Al Watt’s marvelous courses have helped me in every aspect of writing. When you’re thoroughly confused by plot advice and character how-to’s, drop it all and run fast to lawriterslab.com. From in-person to telecourses, you’ll find something to clear the way to your novel, screenplay, play, memoir . . . whatever is your path, you’ll have a guide.”

Guinotte Wise

Winner of the H. Palmer Hall Award; Nominated for several Pushcart Prizes

“My first book, Reclaiming Konia, took me a total of 8 years from start to finish. In 2014, I made the best decision ever to take the 90 Day Novel Tele-course and what I couldn’t finish in 7 years I did in 90 days. Al’s class helped create a template that allowed me to pursue my writing in a way that was never possible before The 90 Day Novel.”

Heather Martin

Winner of the 12th Annual National Indie Excellence Award

“The weekly in-person Master Rewrite Class was without a doubt the key to getting my travel memoir about living with the poor in Vietnam out of a rut. Al is brilliant and has an uncanny ability to draw out of your issues and angles you didn’t know you had in you. It was also fascinating to hear the work of other writers and then learn from Al’s comments to them. I finished my book and had offers from two publishing houses.”

Karin Esterhammer

Winner of the 2017 Nautilus Book Awards Silver Medal

“I feared it would be a gung-ho course where I would be bullied into adopting certain rules — it was quite the opposite — a place where I could go and learn to trust my deepest subconscious to come up with the goods. I delivered [my] book on time, it’s selling well, CAA has picked it up — none of this would have happened with such speed and ease without Al. Take the course!”

Lucinda Clare

Bestselling author

“Al’s 90-Day Novel is the best writing workshop I have ever taken. The supportive nature of the class inspires and motivates you to write every day and to get to the true heart of your story. By the end of the 90th day I had completed my rough draft (300 pages long) and developed a writing ritual that I have adopted for the rest of my life. Thank you Al!”

Christine Gallagher

about the workshop

live on zoom - Alan Watt teaching an online writing class at his computer office books behind him

We meet once a week in a LIVE Zoom call on Mondays from 12-1:30 pm Pacific Time, for 14 straight weeks, followed immediately by a live Q&A to answer any questions that emerge.

The workshop is a combination of craft lessons and stream-of-consciousness writing exercises where writers read their work and I work with a number of writers one-on-one to illustrate the principles.

Each Zoom workshop is recorded. You will receive a link to rewatch the workshop as often as you wish for up to three weeks.

Every morning a daily letter from The 90-Day Novel, lands in your inbox.

The letters were developed over the course of several years, and are a daily guide through the process.

Writers often comment on the synchronicity of the letters, and on how they seem to meet you right where you are. This is because they were a response to the daily experiences of the thousands of writers who shared this journey on the group forum before you.

the daily letters - Alan Watt sitting in the sand at the beach
the group forum - a collection of writers attending a workshop with Alan Watt, taking notes

The 90-Day Novelists are a tribe, and the group forum is where we meet each day to share our daily experiences and hold ourselves accountable to our daily page count.

Over the course of 90 days we discover that we're not alone - the ups and downs that caused us to question whether or not we were really a writer, are, in fact, par for the course.

It's liberating to realize that our private struggles are universal, and that they often provide direct clues into the world of our characters.

During the first month of the workshop, in the outlining phase, I offer one-on-one story consultations where you can send me your three-page outline and I review it, make notes, and go over it with you in a one-hour consult to explore the most dynamic and compelling way to tell your story before you begin your first draft. There is an additional cost for this service.

one-on-one story consults - Alan Watt standing by an open door smiling

THE DESIRE TO WRITE IS THE DESIRE TO EVOLVE

You were born to express yourself. When you do this work with sincerity and commitment, you will likely discover a power within you that you didn't know existed. Having had this experience myself, I can no longer imagine doing it any other way. Why we write is as important as what we write. When I finally let go of trying to "please the marketplace" and wrote the story that was in my heart, a dark tale of fathers and sons that I had previously thought too disturbing to tell, I ended up writing it very quickly, and it was instantly sold in a bidding war; it became an L.A. Times bestseller, was optioned as a feature film (which I was hired to write), and it won some awards including France's Prix Printemps (best foreign novel). The desire to write is really the desire to evolve...to resolve something you seek to understand. By focusing on the process and letting go of the result, the results are quite often amazing.

The written signature of Alan Watt, writing teacher

"What was impossible to accomplish in ten years becomes possible in 90 days."

register for the 90-day novel

Suggested Donation - $750
Minimum Donation - $250 (until Dec 31st, 2020)

the 90-day novel includes

movie camera

Fourteen 90-min workshops (Mondays 12pm PST)

question mark

Live Q & A following each session

play button icon

Playback access of all workshops

envelope letter

90 daily letters

pencil

Daily writing prompts

two talk bubbles, chat

Group forum to stay connected

an open book

One-on-one story consultation
(additional charge)

voice microphone

Special guests

two shaking hands, handshake

Accountability groups

the 90-day novel workshop syllabus

When - Mondays 12-1:30 PST
Where - Live-on-Zoom
Length - 14 Sessions

frequently asked questions

This workshop is donation-based. The suggested donation is $750, however, if you’re struggling financially then that should not interfere with your ability to take the course.

Workshops take place on Mondays from 12:00-1:30 p.m. (Pacific Time). I’m always on the Zoom call at 11:45 a.m. to welcome writers and answer questions before class. I also do a formal Q & A immediately following each workshop.

There are no prerequisites to join. You will find New York Times bestselling authors writing shoulder to shoulder with first-time writers. I’m teaching a process of getting the story from your imagination to the page. Start where you are.

We offer 100% refund in the first 7 days of the workshop if you need to drop out for any reason. There can be no postponements for future workshops.

The 90-Day Novel class size is not limited. In writing your first draft, you do not read your work-in-progress to the class, however, you are encouraged to read your writing exercises so Alan can work with you one-on-one to illustrate the principles to everyone. Also, while you are encouraged to share your work, it is not required. Once you have completed your first draft, you are invited to take The 90-Day Rewrite workshop, which is limited to four writers and you read your work each week.

Yes, there is homework. Outlining and writing a first draft of a novel or memoir is a big undertaking. I recommend that you devote two hours a day to the workshop. If you have a busy schedule, that may not be possible, in which case, you may want to temper your expectations, but that should not discourage you from jumping into the class. It is more important that you approach this workshop as a daily or near-daily practice, even if you can only devote a little time each day than it is to cram all of your work in on weekends.

When we commit to this process, the results are often beyond our imagination … we just don’t know what they will be. This workshop is going to guide you through your protagonist’s journey, and you will likely be transformed as a result. The only thing I can promise is that if you show up and put in the time, you will have a first draft of a novel or memoir in 90 days.

I offer two full scholarships each semester for military veterans and for stories of diversity. If you would like to apply, please submit a letter up to 300 words describing your story to info@lawriterslab.com.

All workshops are recorded and available for up to three weeks, so you can watch them as often as you wish.

If one or more of the following apply, you belong here.

* I’ve always wanted to write a novel or memoir.
* I’ve tried in the past and gotten stuck or blocked.
* I love to write, but I’m scared I’ll do it wrong.
* Someone once told me my writing sucks…but I really want to write.

Yes, it probably will. While the objective of the workshop is to complete a first draft of a novel or memoir in 90 days, the goal of the workshop is to deepen your relationship to your creative spirit, and we cannot do this without creating an environment where each writer feels respected and honored, and where their story is valid. I try to be encouraging, positive, passionate, deep, thoughtful, intuitive, and extremely curious about the story you’re attempting to express. I won’t impose my ideas onto your work, but rather, through inquiry, guide you to the heart of what you’re attempting to express. This process will almost inevitably bring up doubts and fears, but that is an inevitable part of the journey. The workshop will guide you through the emotional ups and downs through the daily letters and support in the group forum and from myself as your instructor.

I offer this workshop twice a year, once in the winter and once in the summer. If you can’t make the next one coming up, stay tuned for future dates.

This workshop meets on the same day each week for 14 consecutive weeks beginning on the start date, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Load More

Alan Watt sitting on his couch in his office smiling

meet Alan Watt

Alan is known as the Writer Whisperer. He's an L.A. Times Bestselling novelist and has won a number of awards for his writing including France’s Prix Printemps (Best Foreign Novel), the American Library Assoc.’s Alex Award, and Barnes and Noble’s Discover Great New Writers.

He has been a New York Times New and Noteworthy book recipient and a BookSense pick.

Read more...

...OR CHECK OUT ANOTHER WORKSHOP