21 January 2014

A Writing Plan that Incorporates Research, Plotting and Writing

His first book takes years to write. He decides to try something entirely different and signs up for a plot consultation. He knows the protagonist's goals and major antagonists, secondary characters, exotic world, character traits, thematic elements and throws in a couple of dynamic twists to elevate the story from bland to compelling.

We discuss key scenes:
He knows the climax, sort of. He changes the first scene to the end of the beginning scene to give himself time to seduce the reader into the story and the reader time to care about the characters while, at the same time, still providing tension and curiosity to read forward.

I suggest he begin writing now, even as we continue pinning down the overall plot and structure of his story.

He balks.
Comes up with excuses.
Needs more time.
Calls himself a nervous writer.

I feel his resistance and more than a bit of fear even. Bullying himself will only add more stress and avoidance behaviors. We brainstorm ways to ease himself into writing, turn his self-talk about his relationship to writing in a more positive direction, learn to relax and trust the process of creating something out of nothing and nurture the belief that so long as he shows up open-heartedly and with limited or no judgment his words will flow.

Homework is three-tiered:
1) write 1 - 4 scenes fast and with no judgment
2) volunteer at an agency he needs to research for his story
3) continue to study the parameters of the 4 Energetic Markers and explore ideas for those key scene in his story.

*****2 Spots left for our Picture Book Workshop . Picture Books with a plot sell better than episodic ones. Literary agent Jill Corcoran knows concept and the picture book market. I know plot. Join us live and online .

If you'd like more, join me at an upcoming online video-chat plot workshop a writers conference, picture book workshop , middle grade and young adult intensive , and writer's plot and scene retreat and read my plot books.