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Plotting Your Novel Series, continued - Act 2

During the last meeting, we talked about Act 1 and what that involves as far as structure in your writing. This time, we'll discuss the first part of Act 2 and Midpoint - another plot point. 

Each plot point serves an important purpose, and during class you'll discover what each means and where it should be used for maximum dramatic effect.

My plotting series, Plot Your Way to Publication, will take you from basic story idea to a solid storyline. It’s a step-by-step method I use for plotting my novels.

I went on a quest to learn years ago, after I'd taken several expensive, highly-respected writing courses, both in person and online. I thought I was ready to be published, and I attended a writers' conference for my 10 min pitch session with the agent of my choice. After a bout of nerves, I told her my story, and she wanted the manuscript to be there when she returned to NY. To say my feet barely touched the ground is a well-worn cliché, but so true. Three months and a case of hives later, I received word, and not by the phone call I was hoping and praying for. Instead, it was my returned SASE in the mailbox. I saw it and knew. She wrote these words, which are now imprinted on my brain,
"You write well, but you need to learn story structure. Lean how to plot, then query me again."

Why hadn't the highly-expensive writing courses taught me to plot? So I began a frustrating quest to learn. Not only did I want to learn to plot, but I wanted a basic step-by-step method I could use for every novel. Finally, after nearly a year of intense study, I 'got it.’ It was a slow process, but I learned. And I'll share my methods with you. I'll explain key scenes/plot points - scenes vital to the dynamic structure of your story - and I'll demonstrate where they should be placed for maximum effect.

Contrary to myth, a good skeleton does not inhibit a writer's imagination; instead, an accepted structure provides the exciting changes that lead to story satisfaction. Which is what your reader expects. Today's readers are more sophisticated than ever before, and they instinctively know and expect certain things to happen in your story. If these incidents do not occur, the reader is often left dissatisfied and disappointed. Draggy, they may think. Dull. They may have purchased your first novel, but may hesitate to buy your next one.

Don't let that happen!

With this series, you will learn how to plot a modern novel and bring that story idea to life. You can earn reviewer's praise of , 'tight writing,' 'well-plotted.' And it doesn't matter if your novel is 50,000 words or 150,000. In February, we discussed Act 1 of the 3 Act Structure. This month we'll discuss the first part of Act 2. SEATING IS LIMITED, SO RESERVE YOUR SPOT. RSVP NOW!

Your homework:
Jot down the important scenes in your novel, the places where something vital to the story happens. One sentence is all you need. If you haven't written your novel yet, think of what you'd like to happen in the story. For this first session, you do NOT need to print copies for everyone; instead, it's for your own use in the exercise. And you do not need to explain the scenes; just list them in the order in which they appear. I'd also recommend reading The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler. It's a guide to mythic structure for storytellers & screenwriters, and it'll tell you all about story structure. It may seem complicated, but keep reading. It's a good, basic foundation. My series will reduce it all down to the basics, all I use to plot and write my novels.

This series is higher in price than the others and there may be four or five sessions in the series. During the series, I'll share my plotting charts with you, the simple one-page charts I designed to eliminate messy index cards and pages of notes. Now I can see at a glance all the plot points, scenes, and where they're placed on the plotting chart to rearrange, if necessary, for the best dramatic effect.

And I’ll share with you. CAUTION: my charts are under copyright, so they're for your use only. Please do not share with others. Thank you.

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  • Joyce K.

    Thanx all! I had a wonderfully informative night. It was good to meet you all. See you in April.

    April 1, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, I was on the list of the attendances for the first meeting. Unfortunately, mu car broke down so I could not come. I wonder can I join you now at the second class?

    February 28, 2014

    • Brenda H.

      Lexa, you might consider joining us for the repeat of Act 1 on Thursday, the 6th. Otherwise, Act 2 might be confusing.

      March 2, 2014

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