11 January 2012

Benefits of a Plot Planner

With a sheet of banner paper unfurled in front of me, I begin asking questions of a writer with a very successful first book who needs help with her second. Her problem? Not uncommon ~ years and years of working on the first book, layer upon layer, input, changes, rewrites, drafts and drafts, enough to make a writer wonder:

"How did I do it? And how will I ever be able to do it again? Only faster this time?"

Ideas rolling around in her head begin to tumble out.

Characters emerge, flaws and all. Setting is established. Some of the middle of the middle "new world" ideas provide stimulus for scenes. Anatgonists appear. The Crisis comes into view. The Climax is a bit murkier but enough of a promise to get her started.

By the end of a couple of hours, the Plot Planner reveals a linear sequencing of scenes for the writer to write and, with luck, end the Beginning with a bang. Even enough to trot into the MIddle and perhaps to finish a rough, rough first draft, providing she does not fall prey to the monsterous going-back-to-the-beginning syndrome.

The Plot Planner provides form and structure enough to tame chaos and bring meaning to all the ideas rolling around in a writer's head. I'll be curious to learn how far she gets with what we were able to do in a couple of hours.

To learn step-by-step how to build a Plot Planner for your own novel, memoir, screenplay, refer to The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master (Also available as a Kindle and Nook edition).

For an idea of what you'll find in the book:

Table of Contents:
Chapter One: Sitting Down to Write

Part I: The Outline of the Plot: Starting Is Half the Battle
Chapter Two: The Universal Story
Chapter Three: The Basics of Plotting
Chapter Four: Developing Themes

Part II: Create the Characters and Setting: Who’s Part of This World and Why?
Chapter Five: Who Inhabits the Plot?
Chapter Six: Who Opposes the Protagonist?
Chapter Seven: The Devil’s in the Details

Part II : The Journey
Chapter Eight: Opening the Door
Chapter Nine: The Middle of the Journey
Chapter Ten: Transformation
Chapter Eleven: The Climax
Chapter Twelve Denouement: The End and a New Beginning
Chapter Thirteen: Some Parting Advice
Chapter Fourteen: Some Final Thoughts

P.S. Send me a photo of the Plot Planner you create so I can share it with other writers. (To see a couple of working Plot Planners, go to my Twitter page.)