07 November 2013

The "So-What" Test

"Does it pass the "so what" test? Do I really have something that's important enough to put down on paper? I want to get a handle on this plot and see if the plot's worth investing in."

Difficult to answer until we proceed deeper into the consultation.

She's frustrated because she's tried everything in the The Plot Whisperer books -- slapping up banner paper on the wall, buying post-it notes of all colors, creating a plot planner and every time she attempts to plot out the story, she has to keep changing everything. She's already invested so much time and is pretty sure the plot isn't worthy enough, so why bother?

First, the time she spent pre-plotting her story developed into, in my estimation, a terrific middle grade plot with likable characters, good tension and conflict, a worthy character arc and powerful thematic potential (development of this potential gives this story great promise).

Second, writing is an act of discovery. Yes, a pre-plot is helpful and yes, developing a pre-plot can take time. Writing is an act of creation. No matter how much or little time you spend pre-plotting, the words you write determine the outcome. Let me say that again: the words you write determine the outcome.

"What has been zapping my energy is until you get the Universal Story right your story fizzles."

What I hear over the course of the plot consultation is what's zapping her energy is her fear that she's going to waste her time with an unworthy story. That what her imagination has created isn't good enough. That she isn't good enough.

Writing is an act of discovery. Write the story and see what happens. You'll discover lots of things about yourself and your story. Trust that you're worth the time and effort to write a story with a plot from beginning to end.

***Win a free The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories Sign up HERE.

***For help writing the 2 toughest scenes of your story, join me from the comfort of your home for this 1 1/2hour plot webinar hosted by The Writers Store: Writing Strong Crisis and Climax Scenes: The Two Keys to Screenplays That Connect with Audiences (and Hollywood)

***4 Virtual Plot Intensives begin January 2014 to get you writing smarter and faster and more joyfully with a deeper understanding of plot. Plot Whisperer Workbook Workshops  

Take the PLOTWRIMO Pre-Challenge:

You have 3 weeks, 5 days and 19 hours to get a draft written in time for PlotWriMo. Beginning December 1st, follow the exercises on the Plot Whisperer blog to re"vision" and redefine the plot arc of your story. PlotWriMo is custom designed to ensure your success even during the busiest time of the year.

Begin 2014 ready for a powerful rewrite.
The following resources support you in your pre-challenge:
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
named BEST BOOKS FOR WRITERS by Poets and Writers. The author provides insight on how to create works of fiction with powerful stories and focuses on how to devise a Universal Plot, plot lines and subplots, compelling scenes, and character transformation.
3) Refer to The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing for writing prompts for scene #1 to the very The End, one prompt at a time.
4) 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
5) 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 more tips about how to use plot and the Universal Story in your novel, memoir or screenplay, visit:

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***** Knowing what to write where in a story with a plot reinforces daily writing practice and allows for more productivity in 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.