October 20 – 23, 2022

Pasadena, CA

Five Foolproof Steps to an Airtight Plot

What’s keeping you from finishing—or starting—that story you’ve been dying to tell? Why haven’t you completed that novel you’re burning to write, the one that’s been percolating in your head for weeks, months, maybe even years?

If you’re like a lot of writers, you might be stuck on plotting. Wrestling your characters and ideas into a strong, cohesive, propulsive story can get overwhelming, especially when you get “lost in the forest,” so deep in the woods you can’t see daylight—or the way out. Maybe all those ideas swirling in your head get muddled together and you can’t figure out what’s intrinsic to the story, or what goes where. Maybe you just lose steam and are thinking of abandoning the project altogether.

But plotting doesn’t have to be a many-headed Hydra. Whether you’re just beginning your first manuscript or you’re a seasoned writer with many stories under your belt…whether you’re a plotter who likes every step planned out in advance or a “pantser” who likes to write by the seat of your pants, whether you’re just beginning to write your first draft or wrestling with revisions, the five simple, straightforward steps I lay out in this course will give you a solid, actionable road map for your story—a clear, workable guide to make sure you’re keeping momentum strong as you propel readers steadily through your story to a satisfying, cohesive conclusion.

Authors will learn:

• Why plot doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and how yours can stall right out of the gate if you don’t lay the proper groundwork

• How to define and identify the major “mile markers” for your plot that will begin to create the framework for the entire story

• How to determine what steps to map out on the route toward each major mile marker

• How to chart your structure on a clear, specific diagram that will serve as a practical, visual road map to focus your first drafting at every step of your writing—whether you like to know every single step of the journey before you begin, or leave yourself open to discoveries and development along the way

• How to “proof” the road map before you even begin to make sure you don’t wind up on detours, in dead ends, or lost in the forest.

At the end of this course, you will have a specific, actionable, adaptable tool to keep you on course throughout the entire first draft, and be ready to start writing all the way to “The End.”