Category: Plot

  • 6 Questions to Sharpen Your Story Beats and Make Your Plot Sing

    When you’re writing or plotting a story, one way to approach it is to write out the story beats. A beat is a small action; a collection of beats makes up a scene. It’s sort of like choreographing a dance; you must make character move around, interact and do things. You can write story beats […]

  • Don’t Plot Like I Do!

    I’m warning you! Don’t plot like I do. I’ve been working on the plot of a new novel for about six weeks and I’m still stumbling around. I’ll describe the messy process here and hope that you manage to shortcut your own process. It started last year with an idea and a short story that […]

  • General to Specific: From One Sentence to a Plot

    So, I have a general outline of my story but the writing still isn’t flowing. I realized that I need to break down major events into smaller sections, so I will know what to write. I’ve gone through two stages of plotting or outlining, each one getting more specific. Here’s an example: 1. First, I […]

  • Thanks, Optimus Prime: What the Transformers Can Teach Us About Plot

    I am writing a science-fiction trilogy and I’d like it to have general appeal to kids and teens. So, recently, I went to see the new Transformers 4: Age of Extinction to see what I could learn. Here’s one of the official movie trailers. If you can’t see this video, click here. Transformer’s Major Plot […]

  • What Went Wrong? Story Conflict and How to Make it Stronger

    In your story or novel, something must go wrong. Without conflict, there is no story. As you develop a plot, it’s helpful to think about what is the worst thing that could happen and then figure out if you can make that even worse? The absolute worst thing–the thing your character fears most of all–MUST […]

  • Good-bye Confusing Subplot, Hello Book Contract

    Guest post by Margo Dill It’s something we’ve heard if we belong to a critique group or have beta readers. “I really like your story, but. . .” Fill in the blank with suggested plot changes, readers’ confusion, flat characters, boring beginnings—you name it—I’ve heard it, and you probably have, too. So, when a member […]