• A Simple Plotting Guide for Writers

    Hello, book and writer geeks,

    Before I get to the plotting guide I would like to have a bit of transparency and full honesty: While I do have a few writers’ certificates from correspondence courses and have taken a handful of English and creative writing classes, I don’t have any major writing degree (maybe one day I’ll finish a creative writing degree, but today is not that day.) I am just a simple, geeky person with an inner, blazing fire for writing and creating that has been burning since I was a child. The desire to be forever learning my craft will never cease. 

    During my ongoing desire to write, learn, and tweak my writing process I have made a list of prompts to aid me in my plotting process. So, in essence, it’s kind of a plotting guide, if you will. If you are a pantser then this may not be for you. 

    A Simple Plotting Guide (A Working Process)

    This outline can be used as your personal cheat sheet or integrated into your own existing plotting guide to enhance your writing experience. If it helps with your plotting and story telling then I’m elated.  We are always students and the world is our classroom (so to speak) and I believe in growing together. By helping others we are essentially helping ourselves. I will do my best to share my knowledge whenever I can. Now, on with the guide!

    General Outline

    Working Title:

    Idea/ Premise:

    Theme:

    Main Character(s)/ Protagonist:

    Main Character/ Protagonists Goal:

    Main Villain(s)/ Antagonist:

    Main Villain(s)/ Antagonist’s Goal:

    First Act: Introduce protagonist and their problem and why they need to solve it – the inciting incident.

    Rising action:

    Falling action:

    Second Act: Add twists, trials, complications, or new problems arise.

    Rising action: Increase tention/character(s) make plan of attack.

    Falling action: Learning from mistakes, solving clues, surprise defeats, or feeling defeated.

    Third Act: Verge of giving up/ all is lost, finding resolve/ pep talk, new look on problem.

    Climax: Rising action/ tension peaking. Surprising twists, or reveals using what character(s) learned.

    Resolution: Facing fear, great victory, or the world changed for the better, etc.

    Chapter by Chapter Outlining (use for each chapter)

    Chapter:

    Point of view character:

    Plot point:

    Scene descriptions: Use five sense/ create mood and atmosphere.

    And that’s pretty much it! It’s very simple and basic. There are plenty of plotting guides out on the net that go into more detail, but I would like to learn a bucket load more before I attempt something like that. I used an early rendition of this outline for my last novel then decided to tweak it and ended up with this one, which I’ll be using for a new novel idea that I will be writing very soon. (I do have a brief character outline as well, but that will be another post.)

    Until next time!

    Stay geeky and keep writing.

    A Writer's Journal: With Plotting Guide

    I love journals, especially for my writing projects. There is often a journal or two hanging around my working area (wherever in the house that may be).  Right now, I have four of them within reaching distance. While I don’t mind making up a plotting page on my computer it’s just not quite the same as pencil or pen on paper. Mmmm, stationary… my second biggest love next to books.

    Due to my love of journals, I created one that had the plotting guide featured in this blog post to make it easier on me and to help keep track of my story plots. There’s also the short character outline inside which I’ll outline that info in a near future post.

    If you like journals as much as I do and like to have a simple plotting guide then this journal is for you! I will be using this journal soon to help me outline a new story idea. (To buy the journal, just click the picture to take you to Amazon!) 

    I’ve rambled on enough today. I hope you all have a great, geeky day.

    Read. Write. Create. Plot!

    JT Harris.

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  • New Journals

    A Quick Note!

    Summer is almost over, (aww) but Autumn is arriving (yeah!) School has now returned and I feel like my schedule is back on track. Though I suppose that I could’ve kept a schedule going throughout the summer but I was either hunched over my computer writing my first draft to my latest novel (Prince Noralv: Edge of Shadows, Book Two!) or I’ve been going on family outings and gatherings. My summer has been full and I am grateful.

    Now with Autumn (Fall as some prefer to call it) on the horizon, I am so very in the mood for sweaters, books, stationery, fire in the fireplace, pumpkin spice everything, but most of all Halloween. Soon, my pretty, soon.

    My wish for you all is to have a fabulous end of summer and to embrace the pumpkin of autumn.

    Cheers!

     

    New Journals!

    Do you love journaling? I know I sure do! I love putting pen to paper throughout my writing process whether I’m brainstorming descriptions or working through a scene in my story I always have a journal next to me. Plus, it’s great to be equipped with one while I’m out and about because I never know when an idea will strike next.

    For my love of stationery, I decided to make make a few journals. Some of the journals I’ve created have a plotting guide at the beginning and the others are plain lined paper.

    Please check them out here:

    http://jtharriswriter.com/?page_id=537

    There are lots of different styles to satisfy many different personality types and I hope to make some more in the near future. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if there are other styles or ideas you’d like to see. I’m always creating.

     

    Free Short Stories Coming Soon.

    I’ve got a couple of new short stories that are coming together nicely and will be available for free to my newsletter subscribers.  If you are already a subscriber, thank you so very much.  The new short stories will be showing up in an inbox near you.

     

    Lost in a Dream is still available for free when you sign up for my newsletter but will be retiring soon.

    To get it while it’s still available please follow this link.

    https://www.subscribepage.com/jtharriswritershortstoryoptin

     

     

     

     

    Until next time, keep creating.

    JT Harris.

  • Writing Process for Indie Writers

    Seasons greetings,

    May your winter holidays be merry and bright – even if it’s just chilling at home or at work.

    I have discovered that I like to research any topic that tickles my fancy and I like to organize it. I’m probably a word geek. Yes, a word geek ( or wordsmith, if you will). I can live with that. In my latest research binge and the love of organizing it I have conjured a decent list about the writing process from brainstorming ideas to publication. This list is not the only way to write or the One Great List to rule them all. This a launching point. Tweak as you will for whatever works for you. Everyone is different.

    The writing process (checklist)

    1. The idea
    2. Brainstorming (write all your ideas down – do not edit)
    3. Character creation, map your world, worldbuilding (keep collecting those ideas)
    4. Outlining (this is important, but not everyone likes to do this – to each their own – you do you!)
    5. Drafting (do not edit at this point – just write – this might take a while)
    6. Revise (this is the time to rearrange, add, or take out what doesn’t belong – stories have a flow, voice, and rhythm, find it)
    7. Find someone or a few people to critique your story
    8. Revise again
    9. Hire a developmental editor or a talented book-lover  friend to read your story (find those plot holes, things that don’t fit into your story, things that need more explanation, etc…)
    10. Start chatting about your book on social media (Soft Promotion)
    11. Revise again (some of you may start the editing process here depending on how your project is going – every process is different.)
    12. Find beta readers (more awesome critiquing!)
    13. Revise again (with feeling!) and/or self-edit
    14. Hire a professional copy editor (or another talented friend – I will recommend that you pick a different person to copyedit your work from the developmental editor. Everyone will catch different mistakes)
    15. Apply for an ISBN (if you don’t already have one)
    16. Write book blurb, acknowledgments page, and about the author page
    17. Hire a cover artist/ designer and someone who does interior formatting (Some of you are amazing at this already so you’ve got yourself covered)
    18. Promote your book! (Share book teasers, cover reveal, hit that social media pavement, etc)
    19. Send out ARCs! (Advanced Readers Copies) – (Ask for honest reviews in exchange for a free book – optional)
    20. Release your book!!!
    21. Celebrate! (you did it!!!)
    Thank you for reading!

    There you have it. My long writing process list. This list may go through a few tweaks in the future, but for now, this is what I have. I have learned a lot this past year about writing and publishing and I don’t intend to quit anytime soon.

    I hope you all keep creating into the new year. Much love.

    Cheers.

    JT Harris.

     

    Photo on <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/9b1f56″>Visualhunt</a>

    Photo on http://<a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/9b1f56″>Visualhunt</a>

     

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