FICTION WRITERS, YOUR #1 PROBLEM: SOLVED!
I read 57 books on how to plot a story...and I still didn't get it.
Until I tried something very different.
Wait, I might be getting ahead of myself.
I'd wanted to write novels when I was in college. But after talking to some of my professors about my chances of making a living as a fiction writer, I felt very discouraged.
I didn't want to be a starving artist who couldn't pay her bills. And I didn't want to live in my parent's basement.
So I became a technical writer instead. For 15 years, I ignored my true passion for the sake of a steady paycheck.
It wasn't bad, either.
I had a loving husband, good friends, and enough money to buy all the books I could read. But I knew that something was missing. I wasn't happy.
I ignored my unhappiness, and focused on the wonderful people in my life. I told myself that nothing else mattered.
Then, something terrible happened.
My husband got a job in a new city. The pay wasn't quite enough for us to make ends meet. And I couldn't find a job in the software industry, which was my specialty.
For months I sent out resumes, only to be told that there were no positions open. Or that they were laying off technical writers.
Our car broke down, and we couldn't afford to fix it.
We were barely able to buy groceries after our bills were paid.
The only time I wasn't stressed out of my mind was the last day of the month, when I was overcome with relief that we'd managed to make it through another thirty days without being overdrawn.
Finally, out of desperation, I applied for a job that I didn't think I was qualified for: editing safety specifications. In the oil and gas industry.
To my horror, they offered me the job.
But we needed the money. So I pasted on a smile and accepted it. That was a Friday night.
The next morning, I woke up and thought about the job I would be starting in a couple of days.
I remember thinking: Either I'm going to write a novel or I'm going to kill myself.
That moment of despair was precious. It was one of the most important moments of my life.
Because it reconnected me with my passion: writing fiction.
I woke my husband up and said, "Get dressed, we're going to the used bookstore."
Later that day, I came home the proud owner of half a dozen books on how to write fiction. And on Monday, during my two-hour morning bus ride to my new job, I started reading Scene and Structure, by Jack Bickham.
You're probably thinking, "Great. She read some books. She figured it out. Happy ending."
Over the next eight years, I wrote eight novels. They were all fundamentally flawed -- because my plots were terrible.
I knew there was something important I was missing, so I read 57 books on plotting and story structure during that eight-year period.
I knew what the plot points were for all the plot structures that get used over and over again: Hero's Journey, three-act structure, 10-scene structure, W-plot, and all the rest.
But for some reason, I still couldn't connect those structures with a story I wanted to tell.
So I was plotting my novels with the "...and then this happens...and then that happens..." method. Which results in weak, episodic, BORING stories.
I spent two more years studying plot structure, taking class after class online, looking for the missing piece.
I didn't find it in a class.
I found it when I set all my how-to books and notes aside, and I asked myself, "What is plot?"
Then I started analyzing my favorite books, trying to understand WHY the events of those stories were strung together in precisely that way.
That's when the epiphany hit.
I realized what a "plot point" really is.
And all of a sudden, I discovered that I could use any of the plot structures that I'd learned to write a story.
I also discovered that I could use this new understanding to write a story organically, figuring out the plot as I wrote--even though I had always needed an outline before.
If you've been struggling with plotting your stories, I want to help you understand why--and to show you the missing pieces that you need to be a master storyteller.
Let me ask you...
Can you imagine yourself sitting down with a story premise and easily creating a plot outline for it in a couple of hours?
It's possible, if you’re willing to change the way you think about plot.
I’m a plotter by nature—but this method makes it possible for me to write stories organically.
And I’ve used it to help pantsers intuitively write stories that follow traditional plot structures.
One of my students is a hardcore pantser. Before I started working with her, she habitually wrote about 30,000 words just to get to know her characters before she was able to start a story about them.
Think about that. Thirty thousand throwaway words, just to get started on a story.
All that pre-writing didn’t keep her from getting stuck, either. She still had dry spells in the middle of her stories where she spent a lot of time being frustrated because she didn’t know how to get her characters from point A to point B.
I introduced her to the plotting method that I personally use.
Once she had the method down, she was able to write a 70,000 word novel in 26 days, with minimal preparation. No outline, either.
She used the process I gave her to brainstorm a solid story structure as she wrote, one chapter at a time.
(By the way, that was her first novel to be accepted by a traditional New York publishing house.)
You might not be wasting as much time getting ready to write as she used to.
But if you’re wasting any time at all, you need to change the way you think about plotting.
You can learn my plotting secrets in a brand new course…
From Premise to Plot:
Easy Story Structure for Plotters and Pantsers
Workshop #1: Transcending Three-Act Structure
Workshop #2: Making Up Your Own Organic Structure
Workshop #3: The Romance Plot (Why It’s So Tricky)
Workshop #4: Beyond Basics: Juggling Character arcs, Multi-Protagonist Stories, and Subplots
Take all four of these together, and they’re a complete course in plotting everything from short stories to novels.
You’ll learn a question-based approach to plot that naturally ties character growth to story events.
You'll find out how to turn any plot structure in existence into a series of character-specific questions that make brainstorming easier, whether you outline first or feel your way through the story one plot point at a time.
You’ll see me use multiple methods for generating the plot points of a story, starting with a strong premise.
Nothing is held back: you see every step of the process.
- You’ll get worksheets that lead you through each step of the process, so you won’t forget how this works a few days after you see the webinar.
- You’ll get PDFs containing all the slides, for easy reference.
- There are video replays for all four workshops, so you can watch them any time, and pause or rewind whenever you like.
And, as with all my courses, if you have a question about anything, you can email me. Any time.
You've probably already bought more than one plotting course. And it was probably delivered to you in a PDF, leaving you to figure out how to actually apply the information to your own writing. When you were done reading it, there wasn't anyone available to answer your questions.
That's why I taught this via live training sessions. I know you need more help to translate the concepts of plotting into a hands-on process you can actually use.
This means you can watch me put the plotting techniques into action. I'm right there with you, walking you through it.
Up until now, the only way for you to learn these powerful plotting techniques has been through one-on-one mentoring, at a rate of $75 per hour.
As you might guess, it takes more than just an hour to become a master storyteller who can create page-turning stories that readers can't put down.
My students have paid hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of dollars to learn the art of plotting by working with me individually.
But because this training series is presented in a group format, you can get all four training sessions--more than 9 hours of information--along with PDFs of the slides, worksheets and replays for only $67.
If you'd also like to get transcripts of the webinars, add a little extra to the price: $97.
If you think about the time and money you're losing out on because...
...you're wasting time struggling to create plot outlines instead of writing
...you've started stories that you can't figure out how to finish
...your stories are flawed but you don't know how to fix them
...you'll realize that the registration fee for this course is a fraction of what this knowledge will be worth to you in the long run.
Q: Is this just some new plot template that you're going to explain?
A: NO. This isn't about plugging a character into a plot template, like trying to shove a square peg in a round hole.
This is about learning to plot a story from scratch--by understanding how stories work.
It's not about abstract theory, either. I'm going to give you a hands-on process that jumpstarts your Muse and gets your creativity sparking, so that you can write a plot outline (or feel your way through the story) without getting stuck.
I'm going to show you my personal method and techniques for coming up with a story.
When you've mastered these techniques, you'll be able to create a story with any plot structure ever invented, or to come up with your own.
Q: How is this course different from your premise course, From Idea to Premise?
A: From Idea to Premise explained how to start with almost nothing--a wisp of an idea--and build a strong premise around it. Having a strong premise gives you a leg up when it comes to plotting, because the premise shapes all your decisions as you plot.
But a premise is really a situation that suggests plot ideas. It isn't a plot outline, and it isn't a process that helps you build your story one step at a time.
Plotting is the process of organizing the events of your story into a meaningful, emotionally-resonant sequence that takes readers on the journey they're craving.
In From Premise to Plot, you will learn how to start with a solid premise and generate a complete story from that premise, event by event and scene by scene.
Q: What if I have questions as I watch the video workshops?
A: I'm always available to my students by email. You can ask me questions any time. There's no deadline for asking my questions. Just send me a note and I'll walk you through whatever it is you need help with.
If you've been struggling with plotting...
If you've been procrastinating on writing because you're not sure what happens next...
If you've started stories that you don't know how to finish...
...From Premise to Plot can show you how to get unstuck, so you always have a clear path through your story, from first sentence to last.
Don't miss this opportunity to learn how to use traditional story structures to fire up your creativity, how to feel your way through a story without meandering, and how to put all the pieces of a good story together so that the plot hangs together.
I look forward to seeing you there!
P.S. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you’re a plotter or a pantser.
I’ve taught this process to both kinds of writers—and it can be used to create a plot outline up front or to figure out the plot as you write.
Imagine—no more time wasted staring at the walls, wondering what your characters should do next!