July 30, 2009

What Every Writer Needs to Know About Plot and Structure, Part 3

When I first got bitten by the writing bug, I found an excellent series of articles, the first being: Does Your Novel Have a Heartbeat?, by Holly Lisle.
They're directed at those who already have a novel written out, but it would be helpful, in my opinion, to read them before you've typed 100,000 words and devoted a year of your life to a piece of your soul.
Read these articles, and create something with a heartbeat from the beginning. Create something real and meaningful to you. Love your work before you even start writing it.
You can find the other articles of this series at this page (scroll to the bottom).
Yes, it's a lot of reading.

As if that wasn't enough, I have some free resources for download. These tools (along with others from the same source) have made a bigger impact on my writing than anything else.

Holly's Create Your Professional Plot Outline Mini-Course is a free, completed mini course on developing a plot, starting from any number of places: a character, a twist, world building, a structure (like the ones I listed in Part 1 of this series), or questions. This is a rough sketch of one of the techniques you can use to create a workable plot. She explains the process, gives a demonstration, and then provides an exercise for you to build part of your plot.
You can download this mini-course in PDF format here.

If this is something that works for you, you can get more in-depth instruction from Holly's Create a Plot Clinic. I have the first 52 pages of it here for free.
The full course can be found here: Create A Plot Clinic, by Holly Lisle

Seriously, this has everything you need to know in order to plot out an entire novel. Last I checked, she had an updated version of this for $9.95. But she also has it available at a discount in a bundle, with building characters, cultures, and languages: Clinic Writing Bundle. They're all good, but the plot and character ones are the best (unless you do a lot of world building).
Part 4 will cover beginnings, middles, and endings.
Part 1 was on classic plot structures, and Part 2 covered getting down to creating a story that matters to you, but will keep your readers interested.

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