Plot and Subplots

The following are questions Livvy had after my responses in the 10/11 post below.Q: I did have a question on your Folly example (note: Folly is a mystery by Laurie R. King). You said to use one color to write “arrival” to note Dramatic Action above the line? Then you said to use another color to write “fragile” to note the Character Emotional Development below the line? So am I supposed to plot two points for the same scene? I thought it was either or. Or are you saying for the initial CED, to … [Read more...]

Character Development and Dramatic Action

PLOT Q & AQ: How do you specifically track emotional development within the plot planner? A: Using the Plot Planner template, plot the scenes in the Beginning ¼ of your project either above or below the line, depending on if the character is in control (above the line) or an antagonist of some sort holds the power (below the line). Note the aspects of the Character Emotional Development (CED) introduced as is now ~~ flaws, fears, secrets and all. Use a different color from the notes you write … [Read more...]

Mostly It’s about Writing

Response:Mostly it's all about the writing and staying fluid. But, I, too, find benefit in the movement, the lining things up getting-ready-ritual. I'm sure you're jumping forth between writing and organizing by now.Keep imagining,marthaOriginal email:Thanks again for all your help. I've printed your scene tracker 20 times, labeled, and laminated back to back (10 laminated sheets) so I can use dry eraser and reuse them from story to story. Watch all this organization throw me into a writer's … [Read more...]


Thinking about something is cerebral and is generally written in summaryFeeling something is visceral and is generally written in scene. Track your story. How much out of body or in the head time versus how much in the body, experience time does your story encompass?Use the Scene Tracker Kit to deepen each and every scene you write. For more information, go to: … [Read more...]

Consider the Reader

We as writers may start out writing just for ourselves, but even for those who are the most resistant to admit it, we each long for a readership to enjoy our projects. Once a writer embraces that truth, our relationship to our writing changes. One way to consider your readers or audience is to get closer to yourself. What kinds of writing do you like? How does your favorite author begin their stories? In scene or in summary? How do your scenes compare to theirs in terms of complexity, interest, … [Read more...]

The Payoff

Readers turn the pages based on their interest in the characters or the excitement caused by the dramatic action or both. The Middle goes on for quite awhile (1/2 of the entire project), and sure, there is lots of conflict, tension, suspense to keep the reader reading, but all those scenes are building to something and that something is the payoff ~~ the Crisis (about 3/4 of the way through the entire book). It's like climbing a hill. We keep hiking for lots of different reasons, but in the end … [Read more...]