My Plot Secret? The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson
My journey to publication was a long one. I often wonder if it would have been shorter had I found Martha Alderson's The Plot Whisperer earlier in my endeavor to publish a book.
As a writer who is much more in tune to creating a character-driven story, my early manuscripts, though often well written, lacked a very important ingredient - PLOT. It might seem amazing to many readers and writers, that an entire book-length manuscript can be written without a tangible, concrete plot, but it's probably more common than most people imagine. For me, I knew my manuscripts were lacking "something," but I didn't necessarily think that my problem was plot. My writing group had begun a study of The Writer's Journey; and, though I had been writing for many years at this point, I remember being somewhat amazed by how little I really knew about the structure of story. As I studied The Writer's Journey/Hero's Journey by Christopher Vogler (talked about earlier this month on Smack Dab by Deborah Lytton), I slowly began to understand the idea of the universal story, but it wasn't until I read The Plot Whisperer that I finally understood how to really apply story structure to my own writing. Alderson breaks down the components that are necessary in all stories in order for them to really work. Her examples from literature help writers understand story structure and her scene tracker gives writers a tool to use in developing and revising their own plot. Besides her book, The Plot Whisperer, Alderson also has a DVD and workbook called Blockbuster Plots with even more helpful information and tools to help writers create and or strengthen the plot in their own writing.
I will be forever grateful for the way in which The Plot Whisperer gave me the necessary information and tools in order to turn a plot-less manuscript into a debut middle grade novel.
Happy Reading and Writing,