18 October 2012

Declare Yourself a NaNoWriMo Rebel

SPECIAL NOTE:

I'll be at HoneyRockDawn all day.

Shreve, a NaNo Rebel, is my host (and most cherished individual -- read deeply into her post to find out why! and favorite writer).

She gives tips as she prepares of NaNoWriMo AND she is offering a 3 free copies of The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories giveaway until Saturday.

Pre-Plot for NaNoWriMo Plot Tips:
Step 1 -- The Importance of Character Transformation

Step 2 -- Pre-plot Tips for NaNo (increase your chances of winning: comment here to win, too!)

Step 3 -- The 4 Energetic Markers in Every Great Story

Step 4-- Develop Antagonist with Same Attention You Develop Your Protaognist

Coming Soon! 
The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing. Available for pre-order now. Ships 12/12.

More Plot Tips: 


2) Read The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master

3) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. Scroll down on the left of this post for a directory of all the steps to the series. 27-step tutorial on Youtube

4) Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. Scroll down on the right of this post for a directory the book examples and plot elements discussed.

For additional tips and information about the Universal Story and plotting a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter

17 October 2012

NaNoWriMo Antagonist Development

Question: I'm wondering if it's required to have a physical antagonist in a story. My character's main antagonist is herself, and I have more unnamed antagonists and obstacles but I think I'm floundering for lack of a more specific enemy; with a face and a name and a past.

Answer: Emphasis is given to the protagonist's character emotional development because the transformation a character undergoes is critical to writing a great story.

Yet it's important to remember that the protagonist is only as good as her antagonists.

A story does not require that you have a physical antagonist with a face and a name and a past. However, by creating an external antagonist(s), you afford yourself more opportunities to develop excitement in the exotic world of the middle (the antagonist's world).

Antagonists create subplots in the middle and help create the tension and conflict that leads up to the antagonist climax which serves as the protagonist's crisis.

As you pre-plot for NaNoWriMo, be sure to develop the antagonist(s) with the same attention to detail as you do your protagonist.

SPECIAL NOTE: Writer Unboxed offers a free Stop and comment to win a free copy of The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories giveaway (with all sorts of antagonist's exercises and plot planners) until Saturday.

Pre-Plot for NaNoWriMo Plot Tips:
Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Coming Soon! 
The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing. Available for pre-order now. Ships 12/12.

More Plot Tips: 

2) Read The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master

3) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. Scroll down on the left of this post for a directory of all the steps to the series. 27-step tutorial on Youtube

4) Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. Scroll down on the right of this post for a directory the book examples and plot elements discussed.

For additional tips and information about the Universal Story and plotting a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter




15 October 2012

PWWorkbook Giveaway + Free Plot Consultation

SPECIAL NOTE: I'll be at Seekerville all day today.

Sandra is my host.

Her editor waits for her manuscript. The ending doesn't work. She signs up for a consultation and generously shares her experience of the writer's side of a plot consultation AND she allows me permission to talk about her work in the post.

Plot tips abound.

In celebration of Seekerville's 5th birthday bash, Sandra is giving away a 1-hour free plot consultation to one lucky commenter.

In keeping with the celebration, I'm offering your choice of:
1)  The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master
2)  The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories

to 3 lucky commenters today.

Coming Soon! 
The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing . Available for pre-order now. Ships 12/12.


More Plot Tips: 
1) Plot your story step-by-step with the help of
The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories 

2) Read
The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master


3) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. Scroll down on the left of this post for a directory of all the steps to the series. 27-step tutorial on Youtube

4) Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. Scroll down on the right of this post for a directory the book examples and plot elements discussed.

For additional tips and information about the Universal Story and plotting a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter


14 October 2012

Too Much of a Good Thing

She's crafted a terrific beginning.

The first quarter of her story introduces all the major characters within high-action scenes filled with noise and chaos and humanity, and all thematically linked and masterful.

The exotic world of the middle provides fascination physically by the look and feel and taste of the settings, emotionally by the needs of the characters and spiritually by the disintegration of their tightly held bands of control.

However...

In the beginning of the middle, the undercurrent of the drastic changes needed by the characters to survive remains present and the exotic world is, as I mentioned above, fascinating. Thus, flattening out the external dramatic action for a bit of a romp often works. And, it does here, too, until... the good times go on for too long.

The antagonists and consequences fade to the background and the energy of the story flags.

In those few too-long beats, the reader and audience's attention flicker. The outside world penetrates. The dream fades. She puts down the book and leaves her seat to check her messages.

Coming Soon! 
The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts. Available for pre-order now. Ships 12/12.


More Plot Tips: 

2) Read The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master

3) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. Scroll down on the left of this post for a directory of all the steps to the series. 27-step tutorial on Youtube

4) Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. Scroll down on the right of this post for a directory the book examples and plot elements discussed.

For additional tips and information about the Universal Story and plotting a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter


13 October 2012

Pre-Plot for NaNoWriMo -- Step 2

SPECIAL NOTE: I'll be at Writer Unboxed all day today with more tips about pre-plotting for NaNoWriMo.

Stop and comment to win a free copy of The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories.

(Click to read Pre-Plot for NaNoWriMo - Step 1)

Coming Soon! 
The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing . Available for pre-order now. Ships 12/12.

More Plot Tips: 
1) Plot your story step-by-step with the help of The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories 

2) Read
The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master


3) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. Scroll down on the left of this post for a directory of all the steps to the series. 27-step tutorial on Youtube

4) Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. Scroll down on the right of this post for a directory the book examples and plot elements discussed.

For additional tips and information about the Universal Story and plotting a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter


11 October 2012

Pre-Plot for NaNoWriMo

Begin pre-plotting your story for NaNoWriMo with the 1st exercise in The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories.

By creating a character transformation and evolving all three major plotlines over the beginning, middle and end of the story, you're left with a bird's eye view of your story. Turns out this exercise is intense to some writers and daunting to others, so much so that a writer friend declared the workbook the Ph.D. program for writers. Not my intent, I assure you.

Rather than become overwhelmed by the complexity of the task, break the exercise down into its parts, beginning with the Character Transformation Statement.

Last night in book group, we discussed the debut novel: The Doctor and the Diva by Arienne McDonnell.

Plot, plot, plot, the story is all about plot, everyone exclaimed. I disagreed.

The book is masterful at keeping the suspense and curiosity high with clearly defined goals and ticking clocks. Scenes are tightly linked by cause and effect. Provocative themes explored. The historical details about all the different exotic locales and occupations were breath-taking and the author's prose lovely.

So, what's the problem?

Though the dramatic action plot stays true to the structure of the Universal story, the character emotional development plot is devoid of its most important element = no character transformation in the end. None. Not one character. All the characters are exactly the same at the end of the story as they started out in the beginning.

Don't let this problem befall your story.

Begin pre-plotting for NaNoWriMo, with the ultimate character transformation in mind. Start there. 

Coming Soon!
The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing is available for pre-order now. Ships 12/12.

More Plot Tips: 
1) Plot your story step-by-step with the help of The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories 

2) Read
The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master

3) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. Scroll down on the left of this post for a directory of all the steps to the series. 27-step tutorial on Youtube

4) Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. Scroll down on the right of this post for a directory the book examples and plot elements discussed.

For additional tips and information about the Universal Story and plotting a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter


Plot Question & Answer (Halfway Point)

Question:
I've read three of your works: The Plot Whisperer and Workbook and Blockbuster Plots: Pure and Simple and have enjoyed your approach.

In a recent post, you write about the difference between Crisis and Climax and give ample illustrations in your books.

However, many writers on the craft refer to "the mid-point reversal", an event that sends the hero toward the crisis. Something has to happen at the mid point that changes the plot or the character and a new goal comes out of that.

In your opinion, how important is the MPR and what, if any thing, matches the MPR in the Universal story you promote?

Answer:
What you call the mid-point reversal or MPR sounds like the same thing as the Recommitment scene or the Halfway Point in the Universal Story. 

The scene that functions as the halfway point and recommitment scene is so important that it qualifies as one of 4 Energetic Markers, a scene with enough energy to turn the story in an entirely new direction.

Coming Soon!
The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing is available for pre-order now. Ships 12/12.

More Plot Tips: 
1) Plot your story step-by-step with the help of The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories 

2) Read
The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master

3) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. Scroll down on the left of this post for a directory of all the steps to the series. 27-step tutorial on Youtube

4) Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. Scroll down on the right of this post for a directory the book examples and plot elements discussed.

For additional tips and information about the Universal Story and plotting a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter


08 October 2012

Theme as a Touchstone for Writers

A definition of touchstone on thefreedictionary.com says: an excellent quality or example that is used to test the excellence or genuineness of others.

A thematic significance statement becomes a sort of touchstone for writers. A statement that best represents your entire story shines as an excellent example to test the excellence of each scene in relationship to the whole. 

Theme Exercise:
1) Write a thematic significance statement you believe best represents the deeper meaning of your story.

2) Ask yourself:
  • How does the thematic statement apply to the protagonist's internal and external plot? 
  • How does it apply to the antagonist? 
  • What about to the romance plot? 

3) Arrange the different themes and ideas that seem the truest to your story into ten thematic statements (use words you often say when attempting to convey to others what your story is really all about). 

4) Hone the ten statements down to one that incorporates all the major elements and feels like the truest and best representation of your entire story.

5) Write that statement where you will see it every time you write. Use the thematic significance statement as your touchstone and a continual reminder of the focus of your story. Let the thematic significance statement help guide you.

For more about the importance of theme in stories and for more help and examples and exercises to develop a thematic significance statement of your story, see "More Plot Tips" below.

Coming Soon!
The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing is available for pre-order now. Ships 12/12.

More Plot Tips: 
1) Plot your story step-by-step with the help of The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories 

2) Read
The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master

3) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. Scroll down on the left of this post for a directory of all the steps to the series. 27-step tutorial on Youtube

4) Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. Scroll down on the right of this post for a directory the book examples and plot elements discussed.

For additional tips and information about the Universal Story and plotting a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter


03 October 2012

Plot-lines All in A Knot

The story you're writing and the audience you're writing it for help determine the exact right number of plots and subplots the story requires.

The complexity and number of plots differ for a storybook as compared to a middle-grade novel versus an epic historical or character-driven women's fiction that feature relationship plot-lines between several main characters.

No matter how many or how few plots your genre demands, every great tale separates out at least three major plot-lines:

A character transforms (character emotional development plot) 
in a meaningful way (thematic significance plot) 
by what happens in the story (dramatic action plot). 

Coming Soon!
The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing is available for pre-order now. Ships 12/12.

More Plot Tips: 
1) Plot your story step-by-step with the help of The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories 

2) Read
The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master

3) Watch the Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. Scroll down on the left of this post for a directory of all the steps to the series. 27-step tutorial on Youtube

4) Watch the Monday Morning Plot Book Group Series on YouTube. Scroll down on the right of this post for a directory the book examples and plot elements discussed.

For additional tips and information about the Universal Story and plotting a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook
Plot Whisperer on Twitter