Create A Plot Clinic


What Is Plotting (And Why Is It So Hard?)

Plot Is…

From a fiction writer’s perspective, plot (the thing that is plot, not the act of plotting) is simple. Easy to comprehend, clear, plain, sensible.

Plot is the series of events that move the characters and story forward.

So to plot out a story or a book, all you have to do is come up with those events. Easy as falling off a log.


You’d better sit down. Maybe take a couple of deep breaths. I have a few things to tell you about what I’ve discovered about plotting over the last thirty-some novels and seventeen-plus years, and what I have to say includes good news, bad news, and news that could well make you run away screaming. Or want to, anyway.

Where Plots Are Born

Plotting’s first home is your logic.

Fortunately for all of us, logic is both a learnable and a teachable skill, and once learned, it doesn’t throw curve balls at you. That’s the good news. The things you do logically will work the same way every time. I know these logical techniques, I use them regularly, and I can show them to you. It’s simple stuff—some of it pretty well known to most writers, some of it original to me, none of it anything that will make you crazy. You sit down to plot, you break out your logic and the tools that logic uses, and you get to work, and you will get logical, predictable results.


Content is not logic’s strong point. Logic will not give you passion. It will not give you heart. It will not give you magic…

(continued in the class)

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