Writing Mastery 2 — Using Plotting Tools

This refers to the audited version of The Story Puzzle. You will not have access to the weekly calls except in recorded form and Dave will not review your assignments, you can work through those with your writers group or friends

In Writing Mastery 1, we went over the ten most common weaknesses that Dave sees among new writers, but most of these deal with basic compositional techniques. In Writing Mastery 2, the focus will be on your story, which means that you spend more time brainstorming scenes and working on them as a whole. Many of these exercises are designed to help you brainstorm new scenes and then begin writing them.

Already know this is the class for you? Enroll in Auditing Writing Mastery 2—Using Plotting Tools.

Listen to Dave’s introduction to the course and read the descriptions of each of the ten lessons included.

[wpvideo eauMdctm]

Lesson 1: Recognize Plot Holes. Many new writers flash on an idea for a scene, but don’t see how those scenes can turn into entire storylines. Here we look at how to move from scene to story.

Lesson 2: Complications and Obstacles. There are many ways to create a storyline. Using carefully crafted exercises, you will brainstorm complications and obstacles for your characters, along with deepening and broadening the conflicts.

Lesson 3: Nine Parts to a Story. In this lesson, we review the nine parts of a story, and have you take a major conflict from your own novel to create a basic plotline.

Lesson 4: Identity Conflict. The single most important conflict for most movies is the protagonist’s personal struggle with identity. In this exercise you will figure out what your protagonist’s struggle is, and then write bits of scenes and dialog that help expand upon that conflict.

Lesson 5: Crucibles. Nearly every story can be made better if an author adds various types of crucibles—either crucibles of place, or of relationship. In this exercise, you learn about the types of crucibles, see how they are used in stories from popular movies, and then create crucibles of your own for your book.

Lesson 6: Time bombs. Another plotting tool that will always raise tension is a time bomb or a time trap. In this exercise, you will create a time bomb scene for your novel.

Lesson 7: Dilemmas. In this lesson, you will learn, and practice, how to strengthen your story by giving your characters interesting dilemmas.

Lesson 8: Character Growth. Learn to develop the internal growth arc for your character, and then write bits of scenes that will demonstrate that arc.

Lesson 9: Tripling. In this lesson, you learn how to strengthen the most potent emotional draws in your novel, and then write three scenes that demonstrate the technique.

Lesson 10: Story Shapes. Most writing books and software focus on how to write a “heroic journey” type of story. But there are other types and “shapes” of story. In this lesson, you learn some of those basic shapes, and how to combine elements from different types of story into one, so that it takes on new dimensions.

Don’t let plot holes ruin your road to the NYT Bestseller list.