Skip to content

Three-Day Novel Plotting

If you participated in the Three-Day Novel contest and hit a wall somewhere along the line, it might be because you didn’t do enough planning before plunging in to write your story! An excellent way to be ready to write like the wind is to plot your story using the age-old, time-tested, reader-friendly patterns of the Hero’s Journey and Three-Act Structure.

And it will help immensely to have your plot points all laid out in front of you on plotting boards – visible, touchable, flexible – to use during the writing.

Fill-in-the-Blank Plotting shows you, step by step, how to do this, and results in a flexible plot for your story that can be altered when necessary (and yes, it will be!) as you write.

My friend, Sheila Wyborny, has entered the Three-Day Novel Contest (held each Labor Day weekend) for several years.  This year, she ended up with about 120 pages in three days . . . and had time to reread/edit/polish her story during the contest time parameters!

The reason she was able to do this: extensive advance planning of her plot, and writing character studies of each character.

If you ended up off on a side road while writing your three-day novel . . . you can still salvage that story and finish it. Look for how you can improve the plotting structure now, and then revise the novel draft to fit your new, better plot.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Planning is the key to a successful project! No, I’m not saying to clamp a lid on spur-of-the-moment ideas, but without some sort of a map, you don’t know where you’re going. And could you see a human body without a skeleton? Not a pretty picture! We must have some sense of direction and some framework on which to hang those “aha!” ideas. And believe me, my copy of Fill-in-the-Blank plotting goes where I go! I’ve been a writer for quite a while, but it’s very nice to have these prompts, these reminders, to help me keep my sense of direction and my ideas in balance.

    September 10, 2010

Leave a Reply

You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS