19 March 2014

Plot for Middle Grade and Young Adult Stories: Plot Your Story Scene-by-Scene to Emotionally Engage Your Readers

The handout below is from a plot talk at the recent San Francisco Writer's Conference: Plot for Middle Grade and Young Adult Stories: Plot Your Story Scene-by-Scene to Emotionally Engage Your Readers.

I share points that serve writers of all genres and for all ages again now in honor of the plot workshops I'm teaching in Los Angeles this weekend. The Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators known as SCBWI hosts LA Writers' Days this weekend: Saturday, March 22 and Sunday, the 23rd. They have generously opened up my 5-hour Plot Intensive on Sunday to all writers. Tapping into the ancient structure of the Universal Story leads to enduring stories of all genres and for all ages. You do not have to register for the entire event.

Develop a Multi-Layered Plot for your Middle Grade Fiction and Young Adult Novels 

Bring your ideas, rough drafts, and beginning drafts rewritten 50 times and final manuscripts. Leave with an advanced understanding of how the action and emotion and meaning work together in your individualized story. Plot springs from character in conflict. Readers emotionally connect through tension shown in scene. Learn about the character emotional transformational plot, dramatic action plot and thematic significance plot, and how to apply the energy of the Universal Story to your unique project. You will be given the opportunity to explore your protagonist in new ways and practice using your scenes to create a Plot Planner for your latest project. Writing is challenging enough. A personalized Plot Planner keeps the plot(s) of your story in line.

Make protagonist’s flaw interfere with reaching her goal and establish in scene #1
Generate fluctuating emotion in every scene


Yes to a protagonist changing & transforming and becoming more emotionally mature
Assign protagonist’s goal the day before story begins and establish in scene #1

Pre-plot the 4 Energetic Markers as soon as possible
Locate the emotional moment in your story
Open your story with a character minus the skills, strengths and abilities needed at climax
Turn episodic events into scenes with cause and effect

Hope to see you Sunday!

Today I write.
For more: Read my Plot Whisperer and Blockbuster Plots books for writers.