USA Today Bestselling author, Mary Buckham is a good friend of mine and I know she has taught writers with the barest beginnings of a plot how to grasp the key elements of story structure and use those elements to craft tight, character driven stories. She has also taught many multi-published authors how to write faster with a clear roadmap for their story. So…when I learned that Mary was offering an introduction to key plotting elements, I knew this was important to share. More than that, I WANTED to connect her with all my author friends.
Okay, I admit I am a pantser extraordinare. So you’d think why would Maggie care about pushing a plotting webinar. Hears the deal. I LOVE Mary Buckham and the way she teaches plotting. If she can help pantsers like me, she can help anyone.
I think almost everyone is a pantser on the first book. It’s the thrill of getting that story in your head on the paper. It’s the freedom to just write and let your creativity flow and not worry about how it hangs together. And it’s been in your head for so long, you already know all the parts and it is only a matter of how fast you can write. I remember that feeling on my first novel. However, unless you are amazingly talented with an unerring story structure compass and already have a good sense of your voice and writing skills, those of us who are pantsers have a LOT more developmental editing when we are done. And, at least for me, the more books you write the more you realize that understanding and using plotting/story structure to your benefit is the only way you can sustain a long-term career.
If I’m really truthful, I can say I do plot…eventually. My creative need for pantsing–I prefer Kris Rush’s term “writing into the mist”–really has to do with the way I get to know my characters and discover the story. I begin every book with a strong central character and a problem she or he needs to solve. My tagline: “stories of making heroic choices one messy moment at a time” also describes how I write. I let my central character(s) dictate the unfolding, and they lead me into all their messy moments. Then I have to figure out how to get them to the next step. That is my creative process and it works for me. It may not be yours.
However, as much as I like that creative discovery of my characters and story, I still have to get a book finished within a set timeframe. And if I pantsed all the way through the book, it could take me a year or more to do a novel depending on how forthcoming my characters are. I think of the plotting portion akin to going to a good therapist when you get stuck in life. The therapist spends time getting to know you and then lays out some options to consider to help you to move forward, to move beyond a problem, or learn how to live with a problem. The therapist helps you to get to the next step faster than perhaps you could do it yourself. In the same way, plotting or story structure is REALLY important to move ahead more quickly. Believe me, that third book or fourth book gets harder and harder to write into the mist for the whole thing. AND if you are writing a series, it is critical to understand how plotting makes that go more smoothly. I’m now on my 12th novel, and I find I’m plotting more and more.
Plotting helps to get me moving again and it helps to drive me to the end. Yes, I KNOW life would be easier if I plotted from the beginning. I’ve tried it, it doesn’t work for my creative process. And this is exactly what I love about Mary Buckham. She can still help you whether you are a spreadsheet devotee with every inch of your story laid out in advance or an inveterate pantsers like me, or somewhere in between. She’s not going to get into pantser shaming. Instead she helps you to see how the skills of plotting can help you, and how those skills can fit into YOUR particular creative process and writing schedule.
So, SAVE THE DATE of August 16th at 5pm Pacific Time for Mary Buckham’s FREE live training. She will show you 5 elements that are key to plotting any story. Click here and register for 5 Steps to Power Up YOUR Killer Plot. This is your first heads up. So, if you want to get ahead of the hundreds who will want this, register now and assure yourself a spot. It will include a live Q&A session with Mary to answer your toughest plotting questions. That alone is an unbelievable opportunity in itself!
I know some of you are thinking: August 16th, that’s a month away, what if something comes up? Or maybe you already have something else planned for that day. No worries, register and you’ll have a chance to replay the webinar later when you have time. Though the replay time is limited, so don’t scratch it off for months. Of course, with the replay you’ll miss the chance to participate in the Q&A, but at least you’ll get to hear all of her wonderful advice.
I am sooooo excited to be hosting this Webinar for Mary! I really hope you’ll join me and we can all learn something amazing together. If you haven’t registered yet, click the button below.