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Fiction Plotting Workshop for Your Writers’ Group

I am available to speak for clubs or conference! 

My most requested topics are plotting, synopsis, and strong writing. 

Contact me through this site by leaving a comment and your contact information and I will get back to you ASAP.

15 Comments Post a comment
  1. Looks like a great blog, Linda. One that I will certainly tune into frequently. As a pantser, I can sometimes write myself into a wall!

    I use the Voegler approach as well–at least loosely–and find it a fantastic model, even for pantsers.

    June 8, 2010
  2. lindag22 #

    Hello, Sylvia! Thanks for chiming in! I’m glad you’ll be checking in from time to time.

    I had the privilege of spending an entire day listening to Chris Vogler talk about his (then new) book. What an incredible experience that was! Until then, I’d been trying to use the three-act structure, but falling flat when plotting the middle of the book. Chris’s demonstrating how to put the Hero’s Journey into the three-act structure led to my first novel sale! I talked to him again years later at another conference and told him that his book and his talking about the book had shown me how to revise my novel–and sell it. You would’ve thought I’d given him the best gift ever! He’s a really nice person and was thrilled to be able to share what he learned from Joseph Campbell, who was his mentor.

    Writing by the “seat of your pants” can be really exhilerating, but it can also lead you into blind alleys, as I’m sure you’ve experienced. Since I started using the Journey and the Structure, I don’t explore nearly as many of those alleys!

    Thanks again! Talk to you again soon, I hope!

    Linda

    June 8, 2010
  3. cathi Ricci #

    I have used Linda’s Plotting book. As a pantser, I can honestly say it helped me immensely and continues to help me with plotting my newest book.

    Although I still remain a pantser, to a certain respect (the characters decide where they want to go, etc.), using Linda’s plotting book keeps me on track and focused–still leaving me space to be creative.

    And as far as how much it’s helped me with writing my synopsis, well,……don’t get me started : ))

    A light bulb has gone off and there is no turning back!

    Love, love, love Fill in the Blank Plotting!
    Cathi R.

    June 9, 2010
  4. Well, that’s a testimony I can’t refuse! I’ll go get my copy now! Thanks Cathi.

    June 9, 2010
  5. lindag22 #

    Thanks, Cathi! Your experience with combining your “pantsing” with the two structures is proof that using those structures (Hero’s Journey and Three-Act Structure) in no way curbs your imagination or flexibility while writing the story.

    I’ll be interested to hear how you like PLOTTING, Sylvia, and whether it proves to be helpful to you, too!

    Linda

    June 9, 2010
  6. cathi Ricci #

    Any time, Sylvia. I know you’ll use it over and over again! My cover is actually coming undone : )))))

    June 9, 2010
  7. lindag22 #

    Here’s an idea, Cathi. Take the book apart and put the pages in plastic sleeves in a ring-binder notebook. Makes it easier to keep the pages intact, and you can add punched legal sheets with notes that go with each part of the structure for your work-in-progress!

    June 9, 2010
  8. Great comment, Linda! When mine gets here I’ll do just that!

    June 9, 2010
  9. JudgePau #

    I have problem with moods. By moods I don’t mean the will to drive. I never (yet) running out of drive to write… what I can’t control is the mood WHEN I’m writing.

    For instance I strarted a story about espionage… all cloak and dagger thing.. but in the middle of it… I suddenly would like to write about romance… and lost the dark espionage thing. Another time my mood turns into comedy while I’m writing a fantasy kinda story.
    Does this make any sense ?

    I got no problem with plots… but I can’t keep my writing style (genre of the story) because the mood change.

    June 10, 2010
    • Philip Martin #

      As editor (of Linda’s book and a number of others on writing), I recommend in general sticking to a genre or stylistic approach (what you’re calling your writing “mood”). You don’t have to, and a little bit of variety might be okay, but if you start to mix styles or genres, you’re taking a risk, and possibly harming the chances of that work being published.

      As I wrote in a blog on my Writer’s Handbook blog:

      If, as a beginning writer, you’re mixing genres so much that you can’t pick one – or you’re intentionally mixing genres – it may reflect a serious underlying problem of not knowing why genres are so popular and satisfying to readers.

      Yes, you can mix genres; no one says you can’t. But it will be harder to find an audience. The fallacy for beginning writers is to imagine that mixing two genres will double your audience.

      The hard truth: The real audience for a mixed genre work isn’t the sum of all readers in both genres . . . it’s the (much smaller) subset of those readers that like both. (I.e., if you draw two overlapping circles, it’s not the total area of both circles, but only the small section where they overlap.)

      Here’s the full link: http://writershandbook.wordpress.com/2008/02/29/lets-all-play-the-genre-game-pitching/

      Hope that comment helps encourage you to rein in on that tendency. (If you feel you need to write in varied styles, consider creating separate works for each style; then you can pick the project that fit’s your mood when you sit down to write!)

      June 10, 2010
  10. lindag22 #

    Thanks, Phil. I couldn’t have said it better. But I’ll add this:

    Where would your book be shelved in a bookstore? That’s an important question for an editor when deciding whether to buy a book or not. You won’t see a shelf for Science Fiction Mystery Romances in any bookstore. And an editor isn’t likely to buy such a ms. from a submitting author.

    There was a time when time-travel romances were routinely rejected by romance editors because they didn’t fit any of their lines. The same was true for vampire romances, werewolf romances, science-fiction or fantasy romances. Those sub-genres (what you’re referring to as “mood” were introduced by highly-published romance authors who were able to convince their editors to try something new. A new author has virtually no chance to sell a mixed-genre book to an editor.

    This is why plotting structure is so essential to a beginning writer. Choose one genre and stick to that genre throughout the book. By using the Hero’s Journey, you’ll be able to plan the entire story before you start writing. Then, if the “mood” changes and you get away from that basic structure, you can recognize it and get back to the original plot and be consistent with the genre.

    Ditto what Phil said about writing different books with different genres. Stick to one genre at a time and you’ll greatly increase your chances of selling what you write!

    Good luck!

    Linda

    June 10, 2010
  11. I haven’t bought the Plotting book yet. Just thinking about it. I have Joseph Campbell “The Hero With A Thousand Faces”. BUT is this book fill in the blanks plotting worth the money? I keep buying still not published.
    Still taking classes.
    Salyn

    December 18, 2011
    • Linda George #

      Salyn, the plotting techniques in this book made the difference between rejection of my first novel and SELLING that novel. I wish you luck with your classes!

      April 26, 2013
  12. Kat #

    Hi, Linda!

    I have your FILL-IN-THE-BLANK PLOTTING book (delivered by Amazon today, in fact!), and in the back it has only your OLD website address, so I had to do a little search to find this page.
    The book also states that you give workshops from time to time based on this book: I’m wondering if that’s still true, and if you will be holding one sometime in 2014 or 2015?

    Thanks!

    Kat

    January 18, 2014
    • Linda George #

      Hi, Kat! I’m sorry you had to track me down! And I’m sorry I haven’t updated my blog in such a long time. It’s been nuts at home since August!

      Yes, I’ve done workshops in the past, but right now I don’t have any planned for 2014. I’d love to do one, though. All I need is an invitation from a writers’ group! In the meantime, if you have questions about the book, I’ll be happy to answer them.

      I’ll be publishing another historical romance in the next couple of weeks. It’s called TOM’S ANGEL and is the sequel to GABRIEL’S HEART, which was published by Harlequin Historicals in 1998 under my pseudonym, Madeline George. It’s available now in e-book format from HH.

      By the end of February, I’m hoping to have KISS ME, LYNN, book 2 of the Kiss Me Series, ready to publish. Both of these books are on my plotting boards in my office. I can’t imagine writing a book without first plotting it using the Hero’s Journey and the Three-Act Structure.

      What are you writing? I’d like to know more about your current project and whether my plotting method is working for you!

      January 19, 2014

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