I came to writing late in life after a career of helping kids with speech, language and learning disabilities much like I had grappled with. Sinking into the imaginative, non-verbal world of words felt safe, though not always natural. I struggled with plot. After deconstructing stories and discovering many of the hidden elements of plot, I began sharing with writing friends what I was learning.
My first big "break", though I wasn't thinking about breaking into anything
California Writer's Club. Melanie Rigney, then managing editor of Writers Digest Magazine, sat in on my plot workshop. My visual approach appealed to her. I still remember the sense of wonder settling over me in the hallway after my workshop as I listened to her excitement and praise and encouragement to write for her magazine.
A plot article with my by-line came out to a great response. Melanie went on to help edit my first book on plot that I self-published: Blockbuster Plots Pure and Simple and even went so far as to reach out to many of her colleagues who wrote glowing blurbs for the back of the book.
Since Melanie's life-changing endorsement and belief in my approach, I've gone on to carry the honor of being awarded 101 Best Websites for Writers by Writers Digest again this year for the 6th time. I teach plot webinars for Writers Digest and all three of my Plot Whisperer books are published Adams Media -- a Writers Digest fellow imprint of F + W Media. Fall 2015, I become a Writers Digest author.
The support of Melanie and so many others at Writers Digest, especially the gate-keepers to knowledge and dream-makers to success, did wonders as I've wandered through the maze of what makes a story captivate the reader both by exploring the visual plot templates I was devising with my own writing and teaching others. The published work by so many writers who credit my plot techniques as helpful to their success comes on the shoulders of others -- many of whom are Writers' Digest writers.
In August I'll be teaching plot in Los Angeles at Plot Your Novel's Course: Writer's Digest Novel Writing Intensive.
Until then, I invite you to join me this Thursday for my live Writers Digest plot webinar: 10 Tips to Immediately Create Great Plots: Everything You Need to Plot a Great Story. Thanks to the webinar format, I am able to show you the tips I recommend with the use of my visual templates rather than simply tell you about them.
Thank you, Writers Digest, for everything!
For more: Read my Plot Whisperer and Blockbuster Plots books for writers.