A story is like a house.

You've got this picture in your head of the ideal house you want to build. Oak beams and ivy-laced bricks. Gingerbread eaves and a well tended herb garden.

So you jump right into building it, but before long you realise what you have in front of you is not so much a house...

...but a pile of timber, half-laid foundations, a shiny new microwave and lots of amazing inspiration for wallpaper which you can't put up because you don't have any WALLS yet.


Instead of a tense central conflict… random "bad stuff" just keeps happening to your character

(or worse, they're sitting in a cool place doing absolutely nothing important)


Instead of generating and developing exciting ideas as you need them, you end up at the mercy of inspiration whenever it decides to visit you


Instead of a compact story you can actually finish, you end up losing control of the scope, drowning in a mass of overly complicated ideas


Instead of a climax that packs a punch, everything just kind of... deflates


Instead of a satisfying ending, you have a black hole and can't figure out how to wrap everything up


Instead of a meaningful story you care about, it ends up feeling hollow and you wonder if it's worth writing at all

rachael stephen

If this all sounds familiar, I designed this just for you…


The Story Magic Academy

How to summon story seeds and conjure complete plots with the plot embryo system


The Course Structure



In lesson one, I'll teach you my method for generating ideas, problem solving and troubleshooting every wall you hit when writing and plotting.


In lesson two, I'll teach you how to generate story seeds which excite you, so you no longer have to rely on inspiration (or dreams!) for story ideas. Then I'll show you how to discern good ideas from bad, and how to pick which ideas to actually turn into stories.



In lesson three I'll show you where the plot embryo comes from and why it works. I'll lay out how to brainstorm and clarify your story's theme within the plot embryo, as well as the environment of conflict the story will take place in.


In lesson four, we'll go deeper into the plot embryo's eight key plot points, how they work together and how to use symmetry to clarify them. We'll also look at time and pacing in the plot embryo - how much time to dedicate to each plot point and more.



In lesson five, I'll share my method for generating powerful magic brainstorming questions for every part of the plot embryo, giving you everything you need to complete it.


In lesson six, I'll show you how your protagonists and antagonists can be people, groups, or abstract not-people. We'll explore when to use a heroic plot embryo over a tragic one, and how to create protagonists and antagonists which create real conflict for each other.



In lesson seven, I'll show you how the tragic plot embryo differs from the heroic one, and share my magic question method for it.


In lesson eight, I'll share how to use multiple plot embryos to map out main plots and subplots, the relationship between the two, and how to go about meshing them together.


Every week I deliver each lesson via live video call, to lead you through my system step by step.

Through live lessons, you’ll be able to

  • share your progress applying last week’s lesson

  • get your questions answered in real time.

The Story Magic Academy includes...

  • 8 live video call lessons with me

  • 5 printable worksheets

  • recordings of each live lesson for you to re-watch and take notes from

  • a discord group for you and the other students to share and discuss your lessons each week

The entire package is priced at $997 each.
I'll only be taking on 4 students.




Can I take my current project through the Story Magic Academy?

The Academy is designed to teach you to generate the seed of a story idea, and turn it into a full plot embryo (or a few interconnected plot embryos), so that you learn how to apply the system from start to finish. So you'll be creating a brand new story over the eight weeks.

Applying the system to a story you've already started is a form of revision, and is much more difficult when you've never completed the process before.

Once you've completed the Academy, you can begin applying the system to your work in progress if you choose. You'll be much better equipped to do so.

You can go off and write the new story you created for the Academy, or consider it practice and shelve it, it's up to you.

What kind of writer is this for?
All storytellers welcome. You can apply this system to novels, screenwriting, short fiction and more.

Will there be handouts for each lesson?
No. I've decided to give you access to recordings of each lesson instead, because rewatching and making your own notes will help you internalise the information much more effectively.

Can I get a refund?
If you are unhappy in some way with the Story Magic Academy, please get in touch with me. As it's a live-coaching program, refunds will not be offered unconditionally - I will offer them at my own discretion based on your reason for withdrawing from the program.

How is this different from your free How to Plot on One Page course?
Scale. How to Plot on One Page gives a very basic beginners' overview the plot embryo structure. This course goes much deeper, and includes my practical and procedural methods for actually APPLYING the theory reliably so that you're confident in being able to finish any plot embryo you start.

When will the lessons be?
We will agree a weekly time slot when you purchase the course. The lesson will be at the same time every week for eight weeks.

What if I can't make a lesson?
If there's an emergency or unexpected circumstances I will reschedule with you. You will be able to reschedule two lessons, max.

Will this teach me how to outline?
A plot embryo is in itself a kind of outline, but you may wish to turn your plot embryo/s into another outline format before writing. The Story Magic Academy does not currently cover this process.

How long will each lesson be?
I'm aiming for about an hour per lesson, lessons 4 and 8 are likely to be closer to an hour and a half. The length of each lesson may vary since this is my first time teaching this material in this format, and I want to be able to answer your questions.

I would try to make sure you have a bit extra time in case each lesson runs a little long. If there are weeks where you must finish on the dot, just let me know beforehand.


Life is too short to struggle through writing boring, filler-stuffed stories.

Ready to master the plot embryo method?


The story magic Academy

How to summon story seeds and conjure complete plots with the plot embryo system

story magic academy plot embryo

enrollment closed

The Story Magic Academy is now full and will run until mid May 2019.