•  · 5 friends

How to plot a book


Become a master plotter

It doesn’t matter how many articles I write, or classes I teach – I still start every book with a google search on ‘how to plot’. This newsletter reviews the fundamentals of story plot and how it relates to character and theme. Keep it bookmarked, you might well need it again in future!  


WEBINAR: The writer, the plotter, the editor and you (FREE for members)

 

24 October 2020. Part two of this webinar course looks at You as ‘The Plotter’. This webinar is free and exclusive for members of Jericho Writers. 

LOGGED IN MEMBER LINK

NON MEMBER LINK 


This week at Jericho Writers:


COURSE: The basics of plotting a novel (FREE) 


This module from the How to Write course delves into the essential ‘need to knows’ of plot – perfect for beginners, or those who – like me – need a refresher now and then! 

LOGGED IN MEMBER LINK

NON MEMBER LINK


BLOG: How to write a novel in 30 days – New! 


With National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) around the corner, we asked author Elizabeth Haynes to share her top tips for preparing for and completing a novel in November. 


READ NOW



REPLAY: Plotting for people who hate plotting (FREE for members) 


Are you a ‘pantser’ who loses the plot at plotting? This masterclass from Holly Dawson could well be for you. Join Jericho Writers to watch now. 

LOGGED IN MEMBER LINK 

JOIN JERICHO WRITERS TO WATCH 

 


How to use a synopsis as a plotting tool 


I know. Synopsis? Plot? This post sounds both boring and hard.  


But – weirdly – using a synopsis as a tool to help you plot your book somehow makes both writing a synopsis and working out your plot that little bit easier. So much so, that the first thing I do when I think of an idea now, is write a full synopsis for it (helped in part by the fact that an agent and publisher will ask you to do this after your first book is out, so they can green-light your next idea!) 


For me, plotting is hard as I struggle to hold an entire novel in my mind at once. And writing a synopsis is hard because once I have that sprawling, many-legged novel, I struggle to squish it back inside a two-page box. 


Writing a synopsis at the idea stage lets me think un-emotively about the structure of the story I want to write, without getting bogged-down in sub-plot. I usually couple it with a sexy three-act-structure drawing, plotting my character arcs in a line and then summarising it all in neat little sentences on a couple of pages.  


Sure – the eventual novel with often look nothing like that original synopsis. But it will help you get to the end.  


Have you tried writing a synopsis before you start writing? What other plotting tricks have you heard about or mastered yourself? Sign up for free and share in the Townhouse.  


Sarah J x 


Plus, don’t miss: 


Self-Edit Your Novel tutored course bursary now open 


Entries are now open for the already sold-out Self-Edit Your Novel tutored course in January with Debi Alper. All under-represented writers are invited to apply for this free place.  


Manuscript Assessment  (Discounts available for members) 


Our most popular editorial service matches you to your dream editor and gives you tailored feedback on your work. It doesn’t get better than that. 


Complete Novel Mentoring (Discounts available for members) 


Write or edit your book alongside one of our expert mentors, including multi-bestselling authors and commissioning editors. 

1 0 0 0 0 0
  • 743
Comments (1)
  • I'm about to start editing my second book which is currently in first draft with totally the wrong plot, was having a meltdown last week about how to even start attacking this beast of a draft and then remembered I'd already had to write a synopsis for this book for my agent and was SO relieved. Felt like past me had given future me a plan to follow. So yes, big fan of nailing your synopsis before a draft. Even if you don't stick to it, it's something to tether yourself to when you feel like you're drowning in words.

    0 0 0 0 0 0
    Not logged in users can't 'Comments Post'.
    Info
    Created:
    Updated:
    Featured Posts
    5 Things To Know About Book Publicists
    So, you’re getting published. Your agent has persuaded a publisher to take on your book – job done, right? Wrong (and a good thing too, otherwise this blog post would be woefully short)!   There are a lot of people involved in turning your manuscript into a book – and to make sure that your book sells. One of the departments that you might not know much about is the publicity department.   I’m privileged to have a PR director from Penguin Random House as a mentor, and I’d like to share with you 5 things every author needs to know about book publicists.   1) They help to determine whether your book is brought on-board.   Before purchasing your book, a publishing house will hold an acquisi
    We're in the Mood for Romance
    We at Jericho Writers know how important it is to spend some quality time with your significant other this Valentine’s day…and by significant other, we do of course mean your ever-dependable manuscript. After facing one another across a dimly lit table (it’s surprising how much light laptops can create), you might find that the passion you’ve been holding onto will reignite and boldly take the form of poetic prose.  On the other hand, you may also find yourself staring into the abyss wondering “Can we go the whole hog, or has the time come to start a new chapter?” If that’s the case, then worry not my friends! We have the tools to help you figure out your next best steps. You can check out