Monday, January 3, 2011

Plotting Goals

I've begun to look ahead and think about my goals for the year. I try very hard not to give myself unrealistic goals. I really don't like to fail and then quit. I'd rather have moderate goals that are do-able.

Time management has been a real issue for me the last four of five months, so as I look toward my writing goals, I do so with an eye on a realistic schedule, as well.

Since plot is one of me weak spots, I've decided to plot some goals on plotting. I am working on a revision of my middle grade novel with the help of Paula Morrow, a very insightful writing coach, so I'm looking at this year like an intensive writing class. Since plot and story arc are the issues at hand, I'm going to incorporate my own course of study into the process.

I chose three books from my collection of writer's aids. I plan to work through them over the year. Okay, at least through the first half of the year. I will probably not read in any particular order, and probably not from front to back. Instead, I'd like to dive into elements I'm working on at any given moment. Here are my books on plot:

Plot by Ansen Dibell

Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell

20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias

Dibell says this in her introduction: You want to bring your unconscious craft under greater conscious control, so that you make choices, not just blunder through until something goes wrong, or right.

Isn't that great advice on craft? I'm taking it as good advice for time management, too. I hope to keep my schedule under conscious control, as much as is realistic, so that I make choices. Wise ones.


  1. Thanks for these book references. I'm currently working through Revision & Self-Editing: techniques for transforming your first draft into a finished novel by James Scott Bell.

  2. You're welcome, Sheri. I really like Bell's method of teaching. I'd love to take a workshop with him someday. Another great book for editing is "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers" by Reni Brown and David King. I hope you make great progress on your draft.