For authors: plotting tips

You might have a great idea and fantastic characters, but there has to be a plot in there or all you get is a series of events.

I’m a new author and, though I’d like to think that I can write semi-decently, I have trouble with my plots. I usually have an idea for a book, I know how to start and I know what the crisis will be. It’s the middle that tends to…well, sag. Between happy status quo and crisis, what happens?

Well, I found a great post to help me with my plotting issues. First, it explains what a plot should look like in very simple language (I like simple). It splits up the plot into 10 steps that every book should have and they’re very clear. I read it and a light just went off. If I had this as a skeleton for my ideas, I’d be so set! So, I thought I’d share it. Here’s the link:

But my issue is the saggy middle…well, it so happens that’s what this new post on the same blog is about. And, apparently, it’s an issue for new writers (ahem). The author is Harvey Chapman and he explains (again really clearly) how to avoid that saggy, dull middle. Turns out, what you need are mini-plots that connect. He explains it much better, though. Here’s the link:

But, if these didn’t do it for you, I found some others that might!

The one I liked the most is this one by Annie Neugebauer. She has a Novel Plotting Worksheet that has prompts and you just answer the questions and, voila!, you have a plot!

Simon Haynes has a great concept with his version (and he even has diagrams!).

Then I also found these two in less steps than my original 10. By Rachel Aaron, how to plot in 5 steps. By Glen C. Strathy. He uses 8 easy steps to get the job done.

I’ll add these to the Resources page!

10 thoughts on “For authors: plotting tips

  1. I look forward to reading this stuff. I have a novel I really need to get done or mostly done this year. I have the time to do it a few scenes, well-fleshed out protagagonists, but I’m just sort of stuck because I don’t have a well-defined antagonist and I’m not sure where I need to go to get one. My goal is 3000 words of draft material per week this year, which is roughly two pages per day, six days per week. I need to do that for about 10 months, then put the draft aside and work on another project for about six weeks, then start revising.

    • The thing that worked best for me to find an antagonist was to think of the *worst* thing that could happen to my hero/heroine. It was hard to write (I didn’t want anything bad to happen to my character), but it gave me a great villain. Goals are awesome. Writing while you do other things is tough. Life tends to take over for me. Best of luck and let me know how it goes for you! I love hearing from other authors!

  2. Pingback: Top Posts for 2014 | Taylor Grace

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