Is your novel stuck? Get unstuck!

See why writers love The Paperclip Method.

FOUR innovative workbooks guide you through every step of the process. For a small fraction of the price of a writing workshop, you'll get inspired, find your voice, and write the novel you've always wanted to write.

Story Starters

Get inspired...

and get some words on the page.

The journey begins with Story Starters, arranged in a day-by-day progression: craft-based exercises, free-flow exercises, and ten-minute prompts lead up to a series of flash fiction assignments. A Halfway There Self-Assessment helps your recognize your strengths and identify your subject. By the end of 50 days, you will have numerous fragments and mini-stories, which you will later develop into chapters for your novel or memoir.

The Paperclip Method Workbook

Put it all together

to create a compelling narrative.

The exercises in this workbook will help you find meaningful connections among short pieces and weave those pieces into a cohesive narrative. Find the best structure for your novel and discover holes in your plot. Learn how to use patterning to create suspense, how to build tension throughout the book, and how to bring your story to a surprising but logical conclusion. Upon completion of this workbook, you will have a complete draft of your novel or memoir.

The Complete Character Workbook

Every great novel is character-driven.

Make yours unforgettable.

Every great novel or story is character-driven. But what makes a great character? Learn the secrets of characterization! The Complete Character shows you how to create complex characters capable of holding the reader’s interest and eliciting empathy. Exercises are combined with solid advice on craft to take you step-by-step through the process of creating complex, compelling characters with strong motivations that will drive your story.

Next Draft

The difference between a published novel & one that sits in a drawer?

A great revision!

There is no writing without rewriting! Next Draft will help you revise your novel globally as well as on a sentence-by-sentence level. Have you chosen the right point of view for your novel? Where does the dramatic tension lag? How clear and meaningful is your story arc? Have your characters' motivations been dramatized? Next Draft will help you transform your first draft into a manuscript that will capture the attention of an agent or publisher. Includes a newly revised publishing index.


Messages from readers

I love The Paperclip Method. I have always had this dream of writing something. Your method took away the fear I had of simply getting started. The flow of writing came easier, knowing I wasn't pressured to have a start and a finish. It's making the creative process of writing much more enjoyable. ~Cynthia Williams

With Story Starters, I'm writing more than ever. ~Adam Moskowitz

Your conversational tone makes your workbooks the best I've found. I love the writing process you outline, and I love your tutorial touches. Lisa Joss

Great armor for going into battle with this beast! Larry B.

The Paperclip Method has been especially helpful in trying to order the chaos. ~Pippa Spence, UK

Listening to Michelle Richmond explain the Paperclip Method renewed my interest in the story. Her method involves writing in scenes or short pieces...Once you have enough small pieces, you arrange them into stacks... Scenes with specific characters might have their own stacks...Maybe a parallel storyline that seems inconsequential but presents a hidden meaning for the main story in the end. Eventually, you study your stacks and piece your story together. Like a quilt! Like one of my twisted pieces of jewelry! These start out with small pieces that are seemingly unrelated, but eventually make up a work of art. ~Joanne Huspek

Does The Paperclip Method Work for Students? Just ask Erica O'Rourke, a 17-year-old aspiring novelist.

Does The Paperclip Method Work for Students? Just ask Erica O'Rourke, a 17-year-old aspiring novelist.

I like that you have put a process to my whirlwind creative state. It's very useful to have something providing structure while not restricting my own process. Each workbook has been invaluable in my journey to write my novel. Right now, I am going back to Story Starters again...the prompts are just as fun as the first time around.
So far, I have written 400+ pages using your method...I have always loved writing, but to write so much toward one creative project blew my mind. Erica O'Rourke


Download the workbooks instantly, or subscribe to get one per month.

Download all Four Workbooks Now


  • Download all four workbooks instantly
  • Start writing today
  • Completely self-paced
  • Best value
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Download Story Starters: 50 Days of Inspiration for the Reluctant Writer


  • 50 days of craft notes and writing prompts
  • A self-assessment to help you understand the heart of your novel
  • A great way to begin writing scenes & chapters
Buy now

How it works

Four Innovative Workbooks

Designed to work together to write your novel from the first page to the last

Work at your own pace

Each time you return to the workbooks, pick up where you left off.

Convenient options

Download and print the workbooks instantly, or subscribe to get one workbook per month.

Rethink the way you write.

Take the mystery out of novel-writing. Don't outline. Write one scene at a time. Use lists. Piece it all together to create a compelling narrative.

Prefer to buy through Amazon? No problem!

paperclip method for kindle

Purchase the paperback edition of STORY STARTERS on Amazon. BUY NOW
Purchase STORY STARTERS for Kindle. BUY NOW
Purchase the paperback edition of THE PAPERCLIP METHOD on Amazon. BUY NOW

Use the “preview” links below to browse each book, and download for Kindle, ibooks, or to read online.

About the creator


Michelle Richmond is the New York Times bestselling author of four novels and two award-winning story collections. She has taught in the MFA programs in creative writing at The University of San Francisco, California College of the Arts, St. Mary’s College of Moraga, and Notre Dame de Namur University. She offers private consultation through Bay Area Book Doctor.

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