20 February 2013

10 Tips to Immediately Create GREAT PLOTS

For those of you who missed my talk at the 10th Annual SFWC, I share the handout.

In Honor of the 10th Anniversary of the San Francisco Writers Conference

10 Tips to Immediately Create GREAT PLOTS for Your Novel, Memoir, Screenplay
By: Martha Alderson, aka Plot Whisperer

1) Generate external dramatic action excitement with a concrete goal for the character in every scene
2) Rather than tell the protagonist’s backstory in summary, show what she is unable to do today because of her backstory wound
3) Establish scenes by cause and effect
4) Activate the 4 energetic markers first and fill in all other scenes later
5) Test yourself for what you’re really trying to say in your story, what your story is really trying to say, for the thematic significance

6) Plot the territory of the antagonists in the Middle as an exotic world to the protagonist
7) Love the first ideas that come to you in the rough draft. In subsequent drafts, replace your initial ideas with ones that provide more depth and are more closely tied thematically to the whole of the story and are connected by cause and effect
8) Optimize your protagonist’s character emotional development transformation as you plot and write by keeping an eye out for the gift she brings
9) Take your story all the way from beginning to end before going back and writing the beginning again
10) Start plotting at the Climax and think backwards to the beginning

• How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? 27-step free tutorial at http://www.youtube.com/user/marthaalderson
• http://plotwhisperer.blogspot.com/ Best Writing Advice blogs as awarded by Writer's Digest 2009 & 2010 & 2011 & 2012
• http://twitter.com/plotwhisperer
• http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-PlotWhisperer/129253400461923?ref=ts
• http://www.blockbusterplots.com

(****NOTE: For those of you who are following along as you write a story from beginning to end following one prompt at a time, I'll start back in tomorrow at the MIDDLE. Gives you time if you need to catch up.)

Knowing what to write where in a story with a plot allows for a more loving relationship with your writing. Whether writing a first draft or revising, if you falter wondering what comes next in a story with a plot, follow the prompts in The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing.

Today, I write.