3 Quick Tips on Plotting Your Book


Plotting a book can seem an overwhelming task when you're just starting out, but it does get easier when you understand various plotting strategies.

Here are 3 quick tips that could be all you need to get you started: Tip 1: Work Out How Other Writers Do It

Here's something you can do if you get stuck: borrow some books from the library - the most popular books would be good! - and go through them while wearing your writer's hat. Jot down short notes about what happens in each chapter - and also look at how the author ends each chapter. If the author is skilled, they'll have some kind of chapter hook (something the reader wants to know) to keep the reader turning pages. This kind of analysis is quite fun - it's always interesting seeing how other authors structure their books and get their effects!

Tip 2: Decide What You REALLY Need to Include

Not everything that happens in your character's life is a plot. What a boring story if you recounted everything even in one day. Readers couldn't care less about the myriad details that make up most of our lives. Do you really want to know what the character eats, how he eats, what toothpaste he uses, where he keeps his car keys, etc etc.. .all of these things are part of his life, but they're (mostly) not part of your book's plot.

Choose the details you include carefully. A plot is a specific collection of events that affect that outcome of your narrative. If a story event is not relevant to the narrative - pluck it out.

Tip 3: Write a Synopsis First

It helps to write a synopsis of the story before you start. (Yes, I know that lots of you like to 'just let it all flow' and you don't know what's going to happen next. Hmmm. Fast way to write yourself into a corner.)

Use the synopsis to plot your book. It doesn't have to be perfect. Your "planning my story" synopsis can be as rough as guts, actually. It's just for you; it's not for an editor. (You can polish it at your leisure somewhere down the track if you want to send it to a publisher.) But in the initial stages, just jot down the high points of your story. A lack of detail at this point is likely to be your friend - you'll see quite clearly if something is irrelevant.

(c) Copyright Marg McAlister

Marg McAlister has published magazine articles, short stories, books for children, ezines, promotional material, sales letters and web content. She has written 5 distance education courses on writing, and her online help for writers is popular all over the world. Sign up for her regular writers' tipsheet at http://www.writing4success.com/


RELATED ARTICLES
Sell More Books With a Powerful Back Cover
Did you know that your back cover information is, after the cover, the best way to sell more books? And, that most authors, emerging and experienced, miss this opportunity to engage more potential buyers?Your book's front cover and sizzling title must impress your buyers in four-eight seconds. If they like it, they will spend ten or so seconds on your back cover-a great opportunity to convince them that your book is necessary for their success.
To Write Successful Business & Academic Communications, Learn the Architecture of a Story
Human beings seem to be born with a gene for telling stories. Stories from our families, our communities, and the media form our worldview and shape our lives.
Interviewing an Author: Dont Be Left Speechless
Joyce Carol Oates. Langston Hughes.
Writing Tips For Novice Authors
If you are reading this article then you probably have asked yourself at some point in your life, "Do I have what it takes to become an author?"I believe that successful authors, those who actually write and finish that novel, or book of poetry, or even that book of short stories, and see it all the way to publication, have certain characteristics.Characteristics of Authors1.
The Author Within
Just about every marketer on the Internet claims to be the best around and would have you believe that no one else knows as much or can teach you as quickly and thoroughly as they can. It would seem that they erroneously assume that by admiring someone else's teachings they will lessen their marketability as the "great persuader" in salesmanship.
Screenwriting - Five Golden Insights
Originality emerges from structure. Once you have a story idea, you can expand the idea into a story by using structure.
Why Researching Is Good, And A Failure To Do So Is Not
What a lack of research could do to you.When creating an ebook how well do you research the topic before hand?It's absolutely crucial that you research what problems your target market is having andwhat they're spending money on.
Greatness
[When I was a nineteen-year-old high school student and budding poet - two years after my diving accident] many factors adversely affected my creativity. My trips in a special bus to school and back home, my courses, and my assignments, though I was spared a lot of writing and was mostly tested orally, all this was time-consuming.
Gut Check: Quitting Your Full-time Job for Your Freelance Career
It's 6:00 p.m.
Writing the Chapters of Your Life: Surprising Insights Using This Special Journaling Technique
List-making is a favorite journaling technique and is often used to quickly jot down a numbered record on topics like "my beliefs," "my pet peeves," "the things I hate about myself," or "my strengths." However, there's a special type of list technique that moves beyond a simple itemization and into the realm of significant self-awareness.
Alternative View Points and the Lamp of Creativity
Pictures they say are worth a thousand words, but many writers know that they are worth much more than that!Without decent photographs or other artwork to accompany an article many features published in todays magazines and newspapers would never see the light of day, so it makes sense to try and supply illustrations along with your submissions.Last month's article gave some tips and advice on how to improve your camera wielding technique so click here if you missed it.
How To Write Your Book Within A Week
Everyone has a book inside them, or so the saying goes. But few people get that book out.
Writing Good Dialogue.
There's nothing that kills a scene like hackneyed dialogue. Just stop and think about the average B-Grade Hollywood Movie.
Writing - Copyrights and Trademarks Protect You
When most people consider writing a book, they don't thinkabout Trademarks. However, I highly recommend that youleverage your writing for multiple purposes, and that's whyregistering a Trademark for your concept is a good idea.
How To Write Your Way To A Fortune
We've all seen those ads that grab our attention and makes us want to pull out our credit cards and buy. Don't you wish you had that same power to persuade? but contrary to what you may have been told these skills can be learned So you're not a natural born writer so what! The first thing you need to ask yourself is who is my target audience and how many marketers are doing what i want to do? Competition is fine it shows you have a market for your products or services.
Rules for Getting the Story Down
1. Write it fast, fix it later.
Screenwriting - The Value of Structure
Structure in the form of frameworks, work processes and goals enhances creative output:a) Short term goals (incremental productivity) produce more output than a "do your best" approach. Writing four pages a day completes a words-on-paper first draft screenplay in one month.
In Your Own Words
More Tips For New Writers (Part I)Explain in your own wordsFamiliar phrase? Yes, we have all heard it many times in many different situations. This little phrase is used to convey subtly different meanings depending upon the circumstances in which it is used.
Zany Ideas That Increase Writing Productivity And Quality
Welcome to the zany ideas of a productive writer. My students keep reminding me of my unusual tools and how helpful they have been for them.
Should You Do a Writing Course?
First, let's tackle the question that is uppermost in many aspiring writers' minds: "Do I need to do a writing course to sell my writing?"No. Absolutely not.