Monday, December 19, 2011

Pondering PlotWriMo

Today is Day Nineteen of Martha Alderson's PlotWriMo. I have thought through my NaNoWriMo story organically, nailed the protagonist, her internal conflict and her two opposing goals, and strengthened my Hook and Climax. I've linked the beginning and end with character motivation and change. And I'm excited about the rewrite. But, what about the middle or the muddle?

The middle of my NaNo draft was too easy, they coasted along from one manufactured disaster to the next. Now is the time to analyze it for cause and effect. Did I throw a bomb just because I, the writer, needed one? Couldn't think of anything else? Or did the antagonist have a good reason for doing this?

Ah... this is the hard part. The middle is the world of the antagonist, and everything the antagonist does must make sense, even if in a warped manner. Otherwise, I have a paper tiger, conveniently throwing roadblocks and complications just to thicken the plot. Cause and effect have to line up from Hook to Climax logically from the point of view of all characters, protagonist, antagonist, and everyone involved. Time to do some hard thinking.

For those of you interested in the revision process, check out

Friday, December 9, 2011

PlotWriMo Road Bumps

Martha Alderson's PlotWriMo is a journey designed to wrestle those hastily created NaNoWriMo novels into shipshape. So why the sad face?

Ah... well... the exercises call for finding scenes and events to fit into the major plot points--all done from memory. And knowing me, it's not that I can't remember, it's that what I remember, I no longer like.

1) Set-up
2) Inciting Incident
3) End of Beginning
4) Halfway Point
5) Crisis
6) Climax
7) Resolution

I have two plot sequences so far. Dramatic Action and Romance. The Dramatic Action's #4 point has changed. I just made up a scene that does not exist in my draft to make my protagonist more heroic and less wimpy.

The Romance? The entire middle has been changed. #4, #5, and #6. The heroine no longer wimps out with a tell-all letter. Show, not tell, right?

Who knows? By the end of December, I might have an entirely new story at hand. And this, I surmise, is the whole point of taking a month off between rewrites.

For more, check out

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 Word Count Art

Wordle: Michal's Window
Folks on Critique Circle are talking about a java applet that runs through your document and generates a Word Cloud, or visual representation of the most frequently use words. Try it at

I ran my draft of Michal's Window through the applet and found that "David" occurred most often. What's surprising is that "back" occurs so much. A quick scan showed I'm using "back" in many ways, "come back", "look back", "step back", the body part, visceral reactions, "back off", "back away", "held back", "turned back", "I'll be back", "back to bed", "when will he be back" and of course, Michal is on her back a lot, just kidding! Other common words are "face" and "eyes. "kissed" is the most commonly occurring verb, hmmmm....

Hit "Randomize" and the applet will generate different colors, fonts, and patterns.
Here's another one:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Plot Whisperer for Writers and Readers: PlotWriMo ~~ DECEMBER: INTERNATIONAL PLOT WRITING ...

Plot Whisperer for Writers and Readers: PlotWriMo ~~ DECEMBER: INTERNATIONAL PLOT WRITING ...: As many of you know Plot Whisperer for Writers and Readers hosts the International Plot Writing Month , also known as PlotWriMo or as my ...

I'm doing Martha Alderson's PlotWrMo to whip my NaNoWriMo story into shape. I've got her book and am watching her cool videos with scenes of California beaches in the background.

Join me!