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Plot Structure–Building the Foundation to a Page-Turning Story-Pt 1 of Plotting

***I just wanted to let everyone know, I have revamped every single one of my classes. I have learned so much this year about how to better these events, that I re-did them all. So, even if you have attended these classes before, I guarantee you there will be new information in them.***

Before you start writing your story, you need a clear idea of where your story is going. Join award-winning author Maxwell Alexander Drake as he presents his class, "Plot Structure – Building the Foundation to a Page-Turning Story." This class will give you insight into how to create a structure that will become the foundation for your story, as well as providing you with several tools to help you stay organized. From plotting in reverse, to a three-act play, this class will help you understand how to set the "beats" of your story and how to insure that you hit them, leaving your readers hungry for more.

Please download and print out the class handout to bring with you as one will not be provided. Find it, along with other handouts, in the my MAD writing section of my website at




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  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm sorry I had to miss today's session. Was my mother's birthday. Is today's session being repeated or in another format I can read?

    January 7, 2013

    • Maxwell Alexander D.

      I wont repeat this until next year. But, you can get the handout on my website. It has almost everything I went over listed on it.

      January 8, 2013

  • Bernadette Q.

    I had posed a question to MAD which was better; creating outlines for the foundation of the plot or allow your characters tell the story and drive the plot; which should I do? Or what happens when you create your outline, and the characters still wind up telling the story?
    Should I ignore the strong character voices and/or rely upon ones own creativity?
    Mmm, what's a writer to do?


    December 31, 2012

    • Maxwell Alexander D.

      As I have always said; writing is about balance. I believe if you always force yourself to do something one way, it will hurt your writing. So, my answer is yes. Yes, you should do an outline. Yes, you should plot as much as the story warrants. More if you can keep up the momentum. Yes, you should listen to your characters, and let them tell their story the way they feel it should be told. Yes, you should always try and maintain some control of the direction of the story for if your goal is to sell your work, you must have a beginning, middle and end or you will find that it is very difficult to sell your work to the industry.

      2 · January 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      When I'm writing for film, I use an outline to help create & keep structure. I also use it so it is easier to build my rising action model. Once you have the structure built, your characters will tell their story perfectly every time. Also, when a character really wants to speak past it's scope, this gives you room for sub plots & sequels so you can further develop that character.


      January 7, 2013

  • Jim T.

    Very good. You definitely have a good command of your subject. Like you I didn't go to college. Nor did I let it stop me from becoming a successful businessman. With your attitude, drive and determination you will go far. Jim Trevino

    January 7, 2013

  • elise

    Anyone know where I can get Drake's "Plot Structure" print out?

    January 7, 2013

    • Michael William W.

      His web page. If you google 'maxwell Alexander drake' you'll find it. The handouts are under the 'MAD writing classes'

      January 7, 2013

  • Nadia

    Does it matter what age you have to be to attend one of your classes?

    January 6, 2013

    • Maxwell Alexander D.

      Not really. For the most part, the attendees are older. Still, I have had a few people as young as 10 or 12. I keep the vocabulary PG.

      January 6, 2013

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