I don’t normally talk about writing products on this blog. In fact, I don’t think I EVER have before, but I found the PlotWriMo Revise Your Novel in a Month videos so helpful that I wanted to spread the word.
The videos have been produced by US Literary Agent, Jill Corcoran and the Plot Whisperer, Martha Alderson. They have put together the PlotWriMo program to help authors get their book published and to learn how to revise their own novels to make their manuscripts shine.
I found the PlotWriMo videos are also great for when you’re starting on a new project and trying to work out what will happen in your story and why.
There are eight videos in the PlotWriMo series, and you can work through them at your own pace, in a month or longer if you need to.
I used the videos to revise two of my novels – a young adult thriller, Submerged and a middle grade survival story called Game On.
I always do a lot of work on my characters so I feel I know them quite well when I’m writing my story.
What the PlotWriMo videos did for me though was to bring my characters into sharp focus so that the reader could understand why the protagonist was taking the journey. They helped me to identify my characters greatest goal – the one that was bigger than themselves – and the flaw that was stopping them from achieving it.
Through the use of Energetic Markers (described fully in the videos), I identified the most important scenes and honed in on them. I identified the lowest point in the story for my character – when their flaw has brought them to their knees – when they have to acknowledge their responsibility for what has happened in the story. This is an important point in a story that I don’t think I had identified before – it’s the point where the character acknowledges who they are, and that they will need to change in order to achieve their goals.
Martha Alderson’s plot planner helped me to identify and develop this vital scene in my stories.
MY FAVOURITE TIPS FROM THE PlotWriMo VIDEOS
- You need to keep putting your characters under pressure and see how they behave
- You need to have an understanding for all your main characters of their flaws, strengths, loves, hates and fears – these are what will drive their motivations and what happens in the story.
- In the last quarter of your book, your character has to make a conscious decision to change and do things differently, and this will be what makes them successful in reaching their goal.
- Characters should be introduced into your story in order of importance – but not too many at the start – don’t overwhelm your readers with information.
- Each quarter in your story needs a big turning point and by the end, your character has to be able to do something that they weren’t able to do for their entire story.
- By the end of your story, your character has to have made a major transformation from who they were when the story started.
- A scene needs to work on seven levels (you’ll find out more about this in the videos).
There are so many more great tips in the videos about things like cause and effect, where to start and end your story, strengthening voice and adding back story, just to name a few.
Watch video 1 for free here.
Here’s How the Video Series Work
Each video includes an in-depth look at the specific elements promised and how to consider these essential story principles as you write, revise, rewrite, sell your story. Writing assignment(s) guide you with step-by-step instruction.
Whether you decide to watch all the videos in a row and then go back and do the exercises or jump right in to the 1st video’s exercise, work at your own pace and take more or less time on the step-by-step exercises. The series are designed to fit into even the busiest of schedules. Sign-in and watch video lectures, complete homework assignments, and ask questions in a public forum on a timetable that fits your needs.
As well as the Novel Writing Videos, Martha and Jill also offer a series of videos for picture book writers and a number of other services to writers. You can find out more by joining their A Path to Publishing Facebook Group.
Comment on this post, and enter Jill and Martha’s competition to win a FREE observation spot in an upcoming OFFICE HOURS workshop (a $45 value).
A PATH TO PUBLISHING BLOG TOUR
Find out more about Jill and Martha and how they can help your writing by following their blog tour. Here’s where it’s stopping:
|December 5||Susan P|