3-Day Plotting Madness Boot Camp!

Nevada City, California

at Harmony Ridge Inn, nestled in the stunning beauty of the Tahoe National Forest

DATES: Sunday February 4 – Thursday February 8, 2018.  

Experience the madness and get your novel plotted!


You have two options  for the boot camp:

  • Staying at the inn, which includes a spacious and beautifully appointed private room with private bath, full gourmet breakfast, lunch, and use of the grounds . . .
  • Coming daily for the boot camp sessions, staying elsewhere, Monday-Wednesday 9-5, coffee and lunch included.

What is a Plotting Madness Boot Camp, you ask?

You come with ideas about the novel you want to write and you leave with a completed outline!

As part of a small group of writers, you will be spending three days, six hours a day, plotting your novel and helping other writers plot theirs. Mornings will be large group brainstorming and afternoon sessions will be plotting activities and small groups with individual help.

There won’t be any formal instruction, but I’ll be guiding this process to show you how this can be easily done! Getting feedback on your concept, characters, plot, scene ideas, and structure is THE best way to plot out a novel!

Want to plot out your entire novel in three days? It’s doable!

Here’s what’s included:

  • A beautiful inn in the woods of Nevada City CA, in the Gold Country
  • Large comfy open spaces inside and around the inn to write
  • Beautifully appointed bedrooms and common rooms, plus common rooms forest views
  • Gourmet breakfast, lunch buffet (every full day), lots of coffee, and afternoon snacks
  • Option of room choices, so book early to get the room you want
  • Spouse/partner welcome ($100 extra)
  • Wi-Fi Internet
  • Brainstorming sessions from 9-5 Monday-Wednesday
  • Tons of handouts, charts, supplies, and books to help you plot!

Here is the link to the inn so you can see all the photos and amenities. If there is a specific room you’d like, let me know and we’ll see if it’s still available. Thank you!

Check-in Sunday 4-6 p.m. for meet and greet (food, drinks, and getting to know your crew!)

Checkout Thursday 10 a.m.


If you plan to stay at the inn, the room cost (total for the four nights) is dependent on the room you choose. All rooms have en suite bathrooms. Prices below are SINGLE OCCUPANCY. Add $100 total for double occupancy (first come, first served on room choice):

  • Queen or King bed: $600
  • Queen or King bed with Jacuzzi tub: $700
  • Full bed: $540

SAVE MONEY! If you share a room with a friend, you only have to pay the $100 additional for double occupancy. Most of the rooms have two beds. Check website to see the rooms available.

All room taxes included in above price (no hidden costs). Price includes breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks. Check in: 4 PM. Checkout: 11 AM.

In addition to your room cost, all participants must pay $360 for the boot camp.

If you opt to come just for the sessions 9-5, Monday- Wednesday (staying elsewhere), the cost is just $360 and includes coffee and lunch.

All participants will need to fill out a questionnaire and do some homework before coming. While it’s not necessary to be a published author, this boot camp might be too challenging for beginning writers who haven’t yet attempted a full draft of a novel.


If you’re interested in participating, email me at cslakin@gmail.com.

Note: because we have to pay for the inn in full in advance, no cancellations are allowed after booking. If you do have to cancel, we will only refund if we can subsequently rent your room and only for the dates we can fill. In addition, all cancellations will incur a $100 fee.

**Please do NOT make travel arrangements or book flights until we confirm you are accepted.


Guests must arrange their own transportation.


You will be sharing a house with a dozen other people, and while you can find plenty of places for privacy , since this is a bed & breakfast rather than a hotel, this is going to be a social enviroment. You may want to hang out with other writers, do brainstorming sessions, trade critiques, go out on the town together. We expect all guests to be considerate, respectful, no smoking or unruly behavior. Come here to write, not to party.

For more info, please e-mail me at cslakin@gmail.com

Here is what previous Plotting Madness Boot Camp participants have said:

“The boot camp was a great opportunity to have uninterrupted time to plot my novel. Susanne is so knowledgeable and freely shares info and material. I highly recommend it!” ~ Dr. Margaret Austin

“The Plotting Madness boot camp was a great experience for me. It was an intense three days of instruction, group interaction, and exercise designed to help lay out and plot my next book idea. It did just that.” ~ Don Sheagley

“This was my second workshop put on by C. S. Lakin She is a terrific teacher and writes the best ;how to write’ books on the market. Getting to work with her in person is an amazing experience. I highly recommend her workshops for anyone who really wants to learn how to write and to get a chance to work directly with a great teacher and a room full of very talented writers.” ~ Ed Markel

“Attending the Plotting Madness boot camp was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed it and came away with a completed outline for my novel. I recommend the boot camp for writers of all levels.” ~ Linda Childers

“I arrived with a sliver of a concept, and I left with an outline of a great story. I highly recommend the boot camp!” ~ Peter J. Ryan

“Come with ideas about your story premise, characters, and plot and experience story plotting at its finest. C. S . Lakin provides professional and unselfish feedback to propel you on your way to writing a great novel!” ~ Carol Hill

“I don’t have enough superlatives to describe how valuable this experience was to me. Thank you, Susanne.” ~ Tim O’Neill


Susanne and Coaltrane