You're working on your latest manuscript, or polishing the story idea you want to blaze into Word Glory during NaNoWriMo. This is your masterpiece. The story that will grab your reader and pull him into your world and through the story with you.
It. Has. To. Be. Perfect. No pressure.
We’re not here to give you a lesson in plotting, but it IS just a few weeks until some of you enter into the madness of National Novel Writing Month. And we're in the mood this week to be super-nice to all of our WITS pals - hence Monday's Pimp and Promote.
Plus, some of us here at WITS *cough* are stuck on some sticky plot points. (Yeah, it's me. Laura) (Fae is right here alongside you, Laura.) (And I'm having a heck of a time too. Jenny)
So, we’re inviting you, amazing WITS readers, to help us with our plot nasties and throw out some sticky plots of your own that you need to untangle.
What about all you pantsers who hear the word "plot" and hide under your desk?
Some of us are that way too. But we still have story lines that must be worked out and plot points that must be doctored. Look down in the comments - we're going to brainstorm right along with you. This is a group effort, so please don't leave us hanging down there with our plot undies flapping in the wind.
We are prepared to roll up our sleeves and dig into these "OMG, what do I do now" moments with you.
"What if I don't have the foggiest idea what 'plot' is?"
Some of you might need a basic framework to hang your story around. The Plot Whisperer, Martha Alderson, provides it! (Click these links, y'all - they are golden!)
Or, if you're a short story writer, you might want to see Freitag's story pyramid. Why use a different diagram for a short story? Shorter stories don't usually have time for the mini black moment / crisis that comes in Act 2 of a novel.
What if you just want a list of plot types? Darcy Pattison's got you covered with her plot templates!
Randy Ingermanson is the 'Snowflake Guy'. His Snowflake plotting method is intriguing. You start with a logline, and build a novel from that. Sound impossible? Read this, and you'll find it isn't! By the way, his newsletters are packed with awesome free info on time management, craft, and marketing.
Here are some craft books we recommend that may help you on plotting and story craft in general:
Writing Fiction for Dummies - Randy Ingermanson
Beginnings Middles and Ends - Nancy Kress
Story Genius - Lisa Cron
Writing the Breakout Novel - Donald Maass (don't forget the workbook too)
Planning Your Novel - Janice Hardy
Save the Cat! - Blake Snyder (there are more in this series, if this method resonates with you)
Writing Screenplays That Sell - Michael Hauge
Stein on Writing - Sol Stein
Jenny: Heck, I wrote a whole post on craft books a few years back - check that magic out if you want to find some golden resources.
Most of us at WITS feel like this when it comes to plotting:
“I hate when people ask what a book is about. People who read for plot, people who suck out the story like the cream filling in an Oreo, should stick to comic strips and soap operas. . . . Every book worth a damn is about emotions and love and death and pain. It's about words. It's about a man dealing with life. Okay?” ~ J.R. Moehringer
And if all of this plotting nonsense gives you the heebie-jeebies...if you are in the J.R. Moehringer writing camp and think plot is overrated, that's okay too. You can read his quote above and smile. You're still invited to provide feedback to other people down in the comments.
The WITS Blogging Team