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Writer’s Tip #87: 7 Tips Picked Up From the Plot Whisperer

writers tips

Great tips for soon-to-be great writers

When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.

These 7 tips are from a busy plot consultant I just discovered (where have I been?). Her name is Martha Alderson, better known as the Plot Whisperer. Her clients include best-selling authors, New York editors, and Hollywood movie directors (according to her FB bio). She has so many helpful ideas, tips and books on her blog and Twitter. Go visit. If you’re short on time, read these seven I culled from the deluge:

  1. Beware: Do not succumb to a personal crisis as protagonist reaches darkest moment. Evoke the emotion in your writing
  2. Crisis scene=cathartic release. Spiritual renewal. Release from tension. Backstory consciousness & expression. Build energy now.
  3. Consider readers’ needs & how your story hews to them. Then, get out of the way & get on with writing & discovering…
  4. Long-term goals are simply dreams until broken into manageable, realistic short-term goals.
  5. Face your fear with the belief there is nothing to fear. Today write fearlessly.
  6. The more you believe in yourself as a writer, the more it shows in your writing.
  7. Write at the same time & place daily. Before long your body takes you there effortlessly and the muse awaits.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman.  She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.comEditorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersIMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller that she just finished. Any ideas? Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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9 thoughts on “Writer’s Tip #87: 7 Tips Picked Up From the Plot Whisperer

  1. I’d love to hear some thoughts on how to do #4. It encapsulates one of my nagging issues – never feeling like I can mark anything off my list and struggling to gain a sense of accomplishment.

    Would goals be word counts? finish a chapter? outlines?

    Wondering and waiting :)

    • I keep a running ‘to do’ list. As much falls off as is added, so in a sense, I’m in the same position you are. But, my ToDo items are mostly small things–add a G+ page for my book, update Amazon profile–stuff like that. The big stuff I don’t even bother putting there because as you say, it would never get checked off!

  2. I have a story like that. It happens to be a two-parter. The second part seems ok to me but the first part just seems rather thin. And yet, I’ve had a couple other people read it and they all like it. Very slippery thinness, that one.

    • I think my day is much more settled than yours. Between dr appointments and book events and everything else you have going on, how could you come up with that one time a day? Me, I come home evenings and write till bedtime. Weekends, I write all day. Nothing else steals my time.

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