Holly Lisle’s latest writing ebook, Create A Plot Clinic, is now available. I read an earlier draft and I can’t wait to start using it myself. The book is filled with exercises, tools, and examples to help you develop your stories. It’s divided into four main sections, each covering different phases of plotting.
Section I, Plotting Before Writing, covers structure. Structure of course, is not plot, but a working knowledge of structure is needed to use the tools in the next section.
Section II, Tools — When Things Are Going Well, contains tools designed to generate new ideas and and plot twists. These are the tools to use when things are flowing pretty well. Each tool has a detailed explanation, an example, and an exercise to familiarize yourself with how it works. The tools in this section are:
- Line-For-Scene, Take One
- Map and Terrain
- Throwing Stuff Against A Wall
- Theme and Concept
Section III, Tools — When Things Go Splat, covers what to do when the ideas stop flowing freely. They’ll help jump-start your imagination.
- Awake—Timed Writing
- Awake—Word Games
- Awake—Making and Doing Things
- Chop Wood, Carry Water
- Awake—Bore Your Muse
- Asleep—Dream Journal
- Asleep—Dream Blackmail
Section IV, Plotting While Writing, helps you save stories that need some plot first aid. It covers both works that are unfinished, and works that need revision. It tels you how to recognize and repair a number of potential problems your story may have. It also covers the Line-For-Scene revision technique using colored index cards (something I intend to start for Miracles, hopefully next week).