27 July 2011

PlotWriMo ~~ DECEMBER: INTERNATIONAL PLOT WRITING MONTH

As many of you know Plot Whisperer for Writers and Readers hosts the International Plot Writing Month, also known as PlotWriMo or as my friend and short story writer Mary Eastham dubs the month of December, PostNaNoPlot Perfection.

PlotWriMo initially came about to help writers who take part in NaNoWriMo and find at the end of November they are left with a whole lot of words that do not always add up to much.

PlotWriMo annually spans the entire month of December for writers who have a draft of a novel, memoir, screenplay and are wondering, now what?

This is a chance to revision and redefine the plot arch of your project before actually rewriting the manuscript. (This also works for writers without a first draft. Whether you merely have an idea for a story, a few chapters or scenes, just tweak the assignments to make them work for wherever you are in the process.)

Writers follow the blog from all over the world everyday every December for plot tips and tricks and inspiration beginning Dec. 1st to shape their words into a compelling story.

No writing is required. Instead, you'll step back and consider the overall structure and plot of your story, push aside the words and analyze the characters and dramatic action and thematic significance you have written to craft the project into a coherent piece worthy of publication. . Brainstorm for an effortless draft two in the new year.

Have an idea for a novel?

A draft of your screenplay?

Think you've finished the final draft of your memoir?

Wondering, now what?

Everyday, a manageable new assignment tailor-made for the busiest month of the year.

Day-by-day, scene-by-scene, step-by-step tips and tricks and inspiration beginning Dec. 1st.

No writing required.

Craft a draft of your work into a novel, memoir, screenplay in a month’s time.

Who: Anyone who has written a draft of a novel, memoir, or screenplay and is now ready to craft the project into a coherent piece worthy of publication.

Why: The first draft of any writing project is considered the generative phase. The muse is often responsible for much of the generative phase. The writer acts as a conduit and allows the inspiration to come through onto the page. The generative phase is all about getting the words on the page.

At the end of the generative phase, a writer is often faced with a manuscript full of holes and missteps, confusion and chaos. This is part of the process in that editing in the generative phase risks stifling the muse, which often results in stagnation.

When a writer completes the generative phase the real work begins—crafting the words into a coherent story. This is where International Plot Writing Month comes into play.

Many writers, when left with pages and pages of words, are often at a loss as to how to take their writing to the next level. Rather than shove the words about on the page, join the Plot Whisperer as she takes you through the process of crafting what you have into a viable story.

When: International Plot Writing Month begins every December 1st.

Where: Plot Whisperer blog: http://plotwhisperer.com/

I hope you'll take part in PlotWriMo come December 1st.

Also, if you'd like to plot your novel, memoir or screenplay, The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of the Universal Story Structure Any Writer Can Master released by Adams Media October 2011.

For a video recap of PlotWriMo:

25 July 2011

Deconstruct the Protagonist

Fascinating plot consultation today. The writer knows how she wants the story to end -- the Climax -- and needed support to find a way to get there. 

I have found that writers who know the end of the story early on in the writing of a story often are able to stay on track more easily than writers who have no idea where they are going (though if you're one who has no idea of the end, eventually you'll finish the first draft and know the Climax and thus, have the same advantage as the writer who knows the Climax before starting out). 

Either way, knowledge of the climax determines so many of the earlier decisions you need to make. 

The action the protagonist takes at the climax reveals what traits, knowledge, and skills are necessary for her to prevail. Thus, these necessary skills will be missing at the beginning and she will need relearn or rediscover them throughout the middle. Some skills she will be learning for the first time, but the true skills necessary for success at the climax are rediscovered after having been lost or buried due to her backstory. This is a backward approach to developing a character, deconstructing the end character to determine who she is at the beginning.

Most writers write with a forward approach to developing a character. You fill in a flaw, a strength, and five other character traits on the character profile. Either you begin writing first and the character reveals these traits to you, or you decide upon the character traits first and then construct a character using those traits. However, today was the writer who represent those who write from the climax back to the beginning.

What kind of writer are you?

All of this information and will be found in:
The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of the Universal Story Structure Any Writer Can Master released by Adams Media October 2011. Order NOW and receive it in time to pre-plot for NaNoWriMo in November!

For immediate tips about the Universal Story and writing a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. A directory of all the steps to the series is to the right of this post. Enjoy!

22 July 2011

Details, Transformation, and The Universal Story

Often, the writers who excel in conveying just the right details in a scene or depth of emotion through subtle body language during dialogue have a strength in visual perception and visual memory. 

Judging from the number of writers who have commented on the fact that I wear red (one of the brand colors of BBP) in all the videos on my Plot Series  vlog where I address plot issues in the Beginning and the Middle of novels, memoirs, and screenplays, I take heart that their stories resonate with subtle thematic clues. 

A much smaller number of writers have noted the switch from red to purple in the videos pertaining to plotting the End of a story (to show the outward change signifying the character's ultimate transformation in the Universal Story).

Writers have a tendency to get stuck in their heads, focus on themselves, and look inward rather than outward. They obsess about the stories they write to the point that they often miss the details of the world around them. 

Close your eyes. How many objects in the room you are sitting in can you describe in detail? 

Pull yourself out of a conversation you are having with another person and watch the interchange, as if watching a movie. 

Memorize the words the other person speaks. Note what she holds back and how she conveys meaning through nonverbal communication. 

Recount the last conversation you had. What did the other person say? Your answers, or lack thereof, may surprise you. 

Look at the details that surround you. What do they convey about where you are on your writer’s journey? 

What can you let go of, both tangible and intangible, to move nearer to who you dream of being? 

Whenever you are not writing, pay attention to the world around you and what others are saying. Jot down notes in your journal that you carry with you everywhere. Tune into the details of the natural world. The practice gets you out of your head and produces gems for the theme, mood, and nuance of your story. 

Most of a writer’s genius comes in the art of the finesse. How finely you craft your project before you let it go is up to each individual writer. 

The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of the Universal Story Structure Any Writer Can Master released by Adams Media October 2011. NOW available now for pre-order!

For immediate tips about the Universal Story and writing a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. A directory of all the steps to the series is to the right of this post. Enjoy!

19 July 2011

Step Away from all the Words of Your Novel, Memoir, Screenplay

A writer says her story "tanks around page 25" and bores her even to try to rewrite.

I recommend she spend some time standing back from the words of her story and view the inner workings. In other words, analyze the structure before you worry too much about the details and even the words you write. 

Plot Planner is a visual line that represents the invisible energy of the Universal Story. It enables you to assess the significance of your characters and the dramatic action of your story by seeing how all the scenes work together against the backdrop of the entire piece. Such a multilayered attentiveness to your story allows for a unique perspective into the deeper meaning of your story.

A plot planner gives a visual accounting of all the scenes in a story. It helps you compare scenes that heighten conflict and suspense to those quieter scenes that show the character in control. Each scene delivers more tension and conflict than the preceding scene and builds with intensity to the story’s climax. Standing back from all the words and viewing the story as a whole allows you to better determine the causality between scenes and the overall coherence of the story. With such an insight, you are able to turn scenes with emotionally rich characters who are experiencing conflict into the driving force behind an exceptional story.

The plot planner is a visual aid to help you write and finish your project in a way that pleases you and ultimately satisfies your readers, too.

Writers report that when they hit a rough patch and lose energy for their stories, merely a switch from writing to filling in a template stimulates their creative juices. Before writers know it, they are back to writing.

The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of the Universal Story Structure Any Writer Can Master released by Adams Media October 2011. NOW available now for pre-order!

For immediate tips about the Universal Story and writing a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. A directory of all the steps to the series is to the right of this post. Enjoy!

09 July 2011

Emotional Guide for Writers

Writing is emotional. 

You face obstacles that unleash angst, which leads to procrastination.

My intention in writing
The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of the Universal Story Structure Any Writer Can Master is to shine a light on the spiritual journey writers undertake when writing a novel, memoir, and screenplay. 

Stand back from your story and your own life and acknowledge the bliss you encounter and find the courage to face the difficulties, difficulties that are a reflection of where you are on your own individual Universal Story. Knowing your own strengths and weakness gives you the courage to compensate for your weaknesses and the ability to rely on your strengths. 

Writing (life) isn't about what you should do and could do or need to do. 

Writing is about believing entirely in yourself and the support that surrounds you.

Get through it (the the middle of your novel, memoir, screenplay anyway possible) and get to the other side (the end).Then see what you have.

The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of the Universal Story Structure Any Writer Can Master released by Adams Media October 2011 is now available now for pre-order.
For immediate tips about the Universal Story and writing a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. A directory of all the steps to the series is to the right of this post. Enjoy!