Plot Clinic Intro

Attached is the first draft of the intro to Holly Lisle’s Create a Plot Clinic. It’s in pdf format because my writing program is apparently inserting characters into the text that crash the weblog text editor. PDF was fast and easy.

All disclaimers apply: This is unedited first draft, and will have typos, spellos, and awkward writing. It is copyright 2007 by me, and all rights are reserved. And it cannot be quoted, republished in any media, or reprinted in any format.

Official notices aside, I think I came pretty close to nailing it, and I think it sets the tone for what will be the rest of the book. I’m interested to hear what you think.

Plot Clinic Intro

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

14 comments… add one
  • Zink Johnson Apr 9, 2007 @ 21:15

    I actually wasn’t planning to buy this one (PLOTS? NaNoWriMo suffers no plots!) but I’m definitly rethinking that now. I’m down with anything that might help struggle past uncooperative muses.

    Also, I have to second what Annalissa said about the voice. It was the yayness of the best parts of the podcasts and previous clinics. Voice could easily break something like this, but the voice in the intro almost makes you want to buy it just to keep reading the voice.

  • katiehasen Apr 3, 2007 @ 10:43

    I keep forgetting (seriously!) to buy your clinics, but I have a feeling I shouldn’t miss out on this one. I’m looking forward to it!

  • LadyQ Apr 3, 2007 @ 9:28

    It sounds fantastic! I especially like how you’re going to talk about plotting at every stage of the writing (before you begin, in the middle, when you’re tearing apart the first draft). I can’t wait. 🙂

  • embar Apr 3, 2007 @ 4:09

    This is great Holly! I’m looking forward to reading more!

  • Inkblot Apr 3, 2007 @ 3:17

    One word:

    Yay!

    (Plus agreeance with everything said above 🙂 )

  • Bonnie Apr 2, 2007 @ 22:35

    Hey, this sounds useful.

    That’s the description that popped into my head as I was reading it. Down-to-earth, practical, straightforward, something I can use.

    More, please!

  • Licorice Riff Raff Apr 2, 2007 @ 19:35

    I got chills while reading this. Really. Of course, I was soaking wet and wearing a swimsuit at the time, but I would have gotten chills anyway. Everything I had hoped it would be Holly, and more. Can’t wait.

  • Nandini Apr 2, 2007 @ 18:55

    Holly, this is great.. this is the one I’ve been waiting for! I feel like singing.

    At the words “as easy as falling off a log”, I had an instant, extremely lucid daydream (or should I say, memory) of that evening, two years ago, when on my birthday I boasted to my boyfriend that I have the story for my first novel all worked out, and it was as easy as 1-2-3. “I can’t figure out how come they haven’t automated this process yet,” I said, impossibly smug and hilariously innocent of the ordeal to come. The actual writing.

    The structure of your intro is every bit as proper and logical as your other nonfiction; it screams “This Book Means Business”. Your tone is engaging and fun, something I’ve always LOVED about Mugging The Muse, and you’ve got it going again at full blast (I missed it a little in Character Clinic).

    One thing I’d expected at the end of the intro was a “Here’s what you need to get started” section, so I’d round up all the necessary material before getting properly started. (Index cards, paper and pens are obvious, but should I bring my reference books to the table or is it too early for that? etc.) You’re probably going into that sort of thing right after this intro, but this is just to let you know what my expectations were for the intro that didn’t pan out. This is the only one.

    And you really knocked my socks off with all you *did* have. I never would have expected to be told that your muse, too, uses the ‘bad hair day’ excuse.

  • Jass Apr 2, 2007 @ 17:02

    Me too. Loved it. More please.

    I’m drunk with anticipation.

  • Bridget Apr 2, 2007 @ 16:43

    I liked it too. And I agree with everything Annalisa said. =)

    Really looking forward to this one. Bless you for doing it, and thank you so much.

  • Annalisa Apr 2, 2007 @ 16:30

    Highly organized and very helpful! As Heather said, I’m already looking forward to more. I need this SO MUCH.

    Here are things I especially liked:

    1) That part at the end where you talked about all the different sticky plot situations you can get into–flying free then panicking about the middle, etc. It felt so good to know that you could relate, that these plot problems are NORMAL.

    2) The way you broke down “Where Plots are Born”.

    3) The voice. Playful but businesslike, but overall approachable and sympathetic.

    4) The parts about injecting passion into your story and making it memorable.

    5) The fact that you identified the muse as the subconscious. Awesome. I’ve spent some time on writers’ boards where they’re all talking excitedly about their muses like they’re frustrating little sprites living inside their heads. I think it’s good to remember that the capricious little part writers like to call their muse is actually… themselves.

  • lizb Apr 2, 2007 @ 16:25

    You write it, I’ll buy it. It’s exactly what I need to help me out of the morass.

  • MattScudder Apr 2, 2007 @ 14:35

    Yeah, looks great. And pretty much describes what goes through my head every time I come up against plot.

  • heather Apr 2, 2007 @ 13:54

    Can’t wait for more!

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