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Train Yourself As A Plotter by Kate Walker

Please welcome author Kate Walker. She's talking about...TRAINING YOURSELF AS A PLOTTER today. And she's got giveaways! 


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TRAINING YOURSELF AS A PLOTTER





An original plot is hard to find

. When starting out as a writer, most people automatically think of putting the plot and how to create it first on their list of things to learn about. But I don’t agree – for two reasons.



  1. It is almost impossible to create any sort of truly original plot for a Romance story. But you can create original characters.



  1. When you are writing a Romance, it is the characters who really matter. It’s their emotional journey that makes the essential part of the plot so that you need to know your characters. Then put them together and that will often create the plot for you.



You write using your own voice.  That way you make the plot authentic to you – so that only you would have written it in exactly this way.  That makes it individual and not just a carbon copy of everything else that has gone before it.



But you do need a plot - and a plot is more than just a series of events -  so  how do you train yourself to think in terms of an interesting plot – and your version of a particular story  even if that theme/trope has been used many times before?





Tell your characters’ story your way

Spend time with your characters, getting to know them, understand them, building them up, developing them from the inside out



Individual Characters – and tell those characters’ stories.





Read Read Read – learn the plots that make successful romances in the past and in the present – and the ones that have failed



Think about them – which ones can you still use?

Which ones will need changing to make them work today?

How?



How could you turn a plot on its head?

Have him kidnap her?

She wants the marriage of convenience?



Watch soaps/dramas/films – stop it halfway – or at the end of the episode – ask yourself:

Where is it going?

Who will end up with whom?

Why?

What conflict/problem/sudden revelation/black moment is the writer going to bring in?



How could you do it differently?

What twists could you bring in?

Who could they end up with instead?

What if . . .?



Read newspapers/magazines/watch people stories on TV – use them as your characters - see if you can see what will happen – check it against reality



How could you rework a fairy story – Cinderella? Beauty and the Beast? Or a classic ?  Jane Eyre? Pride and Prejudice?





   The trick is to look at  the tried and tested plots from a different angle. To see what you can bring to a story from your own personality, experience, interests.   Some of those tried and tested plots have stood the passage of time because they are great sources on conflict – but if you write just the ‘same old, same old’ they will just bore the reader – she’s seen it all before.



Find your own individual touch of ‘seasoning’ and add it to the mix as before and you’ll end up with something that is exclusively ‘you'!


Amazon.com               Amazon.co.uk        Amazon.au   
Kate Walker also has a new release out:
Olivero's Outrageous Proposal
One problem… 

For Dario Olivero, Alyse Gregory was supposed to be a way to reap revenge against his estranged half brother. But Alyse carries the key to the family acceptance he's always craved and, realizing just how much trouble she's in, he can't turn away.

One solution! 

A marriage proposal is not what Alyse was expecting. But this deliciously sexy Italian will resolve her family's debts if she becomes his convenient wife… Her head says no but her body begs her to say yes.

With an intensity rivaling the Tuscan sun, their mutual desire soon escalates to something inconvenient, creating a whole new dilemma!
Buy at:


27 comments:

  1. Those are great plotting tips, whether you're writing romance or any other genre, too. Thanks very much, and I wish you much success with your books! :)

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    1. Hi Lexa - thanks for commenting. I'm so glad you find these tips helpful - and yes, they work with any sort of fiction, not just romance.

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  2. Hmm...I have to plan out the plot line for all of my stories, even the ones with romance as a sub-genre. I like your Soap Opera tip. I often make guesses at the plot lines and am correct.

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    1. Chrys, I sometimes wish I could really plan out a plotline but usually I start with an idea and go from there - but these are some of the ways I start out.

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  3. Great tips! It really is all about the characters and how they interact!

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  4. Very helpful post. Plotting is not for the faint-hearted:)

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Sandra- and I so agree - plotting is not for the faint -hearted! People think it's easy - I wish!

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  5. Those are all great tips. The plot and how well the story flows through the characters is how I tell if I liked a story.

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    1. Thanks Mary, I'm glad the tips help you. I love a story if I can remember the characters well - the major details of the story line can be hazy but if the characters come alive, then I know I'll enjoy it.

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  6. I don't write fiction but I read a great deal for many years... I agree totally thaf I had to be invested in the characters... the plot was important but if I couldn't care about the characters I wouldn't read the book.... very good pointers ♡

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  7. Hi Luanna - I envy you reading a great deal - I wish I had more time to read., But writing books tends to take over. If you see my answer to Mary above, you'll know I agree with you - I really want to get involved with the characters and care what happens to them.

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  8. Great tips and questions to stimulate ideas!
    "An original plot is hard to find" so I guess that means we should stop panicking over the similarity of one plot to the next.
    After all, the X-factor lies in the delivery - no two writers can deliver a story in exactly the same way. There are different styles/voice etc to take into account.

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    1. "After all, the X-factor lies in the delivery " - so true, Michelle! We can all be given the exact same plot idea but we will take it, and the characters along a different paths and ways to tell it. We need to do it my way'! So often there are rushes of authors all writing the same - or very very similar plot lines (at least at the start) but then you add in individuality and that gives a whole new spin to a tried and tested story. I was teaching a class a couple of weeks ago and two students talked about a new story which began with the exact same event - the same as another writer I knew well - and the same that I had just finished and submitted a book on. No one had talked to each other before we started - and no one needed to panic and drop their own version of the story. They were all so different, even though they grew from the same 'seed'!

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  9. Wonderful advice! Reading in one's genre is particularly helpful to find a way to twist plots/tropes in different ways. :)

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    1. Thank you Cherie - I'm glad the advice helped. Some of my most successful books have been created by looking at tried and tested stories and asking myself 'how can I turn this plot line inside out - or upside down'?

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  10. What great tips. I'm going to have to save these and read over them when I'm stuck!

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  11. Good morning Stephanie - from wet, cold UK! Thanks for commenting. I'm so pleased that the tips helped you - and if you do get stuck, that they help getting you unstuck!

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  12. Kate - it's nice to meet you! Thanks for these wonderful tips. They will come in handy. :) Nas, thanks for hosting!

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    1. Hi Karen - nice to meet you too. I love the way that Nas hosts great blog trips and I get to meet new people all the time. I hope some of my plotting tips work well for you.

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  13. I think this advice is spot on! I agree that the characters make the story in a romance. Kate gave great ways to have the characters tell the story and how to move the story along. Wising her the best of luck! :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Hello Jess - so glad you agree. The characters are so important because the readers can relate to them. Thanks for saying such kind things about my tips.

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  14. helpful post

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  15. These are fantastic questions to pose. I've read books that had similar plots, but the characters made the story.

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  16. Those are some really good tip! I like the idea of watching a soap, then stopping it and thinking about what might happen next.

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  17. Those are some really good tip! I like the idea of watching a soap, then stopping it and thinking about what might happen next.

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  18. I like turning plots on their heads -- great post!

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