Several years ago, I developed a course on plotting. Like many things, I created it out of my desire to understand something better, in this case, ‘plot’. There are so many methods bandied about by writers and especially movie makers (Hero’s Journey or Save the Cat anyone?) that it’s difficult to keep it simple and find what works for you. I’ve been surprised by the popularity of this course, but I suspect that like my situation, many of you just want plot to be simple to understand and apply in your writing.
The reason I was interested in plot was that I loved writing, that feeling of being ‘in the zone’ and at one with my characters, but I had trouble either coming up with strong ideas or I’d run out of steam part-way through a story. I often had the kernel of an idea and a few characters but freaked out at the prospect of spinning that into 300-400 pages of novel. Or even 50 pages. “Outline it”, I was told. Plot it out so you don’t have to face the terror of the blank page.
Great advice, if you know how to do it.
I didn’t, so I learned.
I now know that there is one fundamental concept at work in plot, irrespective of methodology: a character with a goal reacting to conflict creates plot. Plot is not some external series of events unrelated to your characters, it is, in fact, the opposite. Active characters lead and create their own plots.
Because she’s awesome, I’ve drawn inspiration for my OWL from iconic chic-lit character, Bridget Jones, to demonstrate ideas and explain the concept of character-led plotting. And because character-led plotting works for just about every type of story, not just Rom Com’s, I’ve also used 80s action hunk, Bruce Willis, and his equally iconic character from Die Hard, John McLane, to show it in, ahem, action in action stories.
I’m a practical gal, which means I want to know how to USE information, not just read it. And so the focus for this OWL is on getting you to put character-led plotting theories into action to generate your own original plots. All the theory in the world is great, but if you can’t easily apply it, it’s not that much good to you. So while you’ll certainly get theory in this OWL, I’ll also show you the nuts and bolts of things and how you can get that theory working for you in a practical sense. Online discussions in Moodle are also great for this, it’s amazing what a fresh set of eyes can do to get one’s creative juices flowing.
Basically, by the end of this OWL, I want you to have an understanding of what plot is, how it functions in fiction, and how you can easily generate your own plots in your writing. I want you to never fear the blank page again because, once you’ve done this when someone wisely advises you to “outline it”, you’ll know exactly how.
Hope to see you over at my October OWL, Have you heard about Miss Jones? Understanding character-driven plotting through analysing Bridget Jones’s Diary.
It’s gonna be a blast with big knickers!
Course Dates: 5Oct to 30 Oct 2020
Cost: RWA Member – $55.00. Non-RWA Member: $88.00.
Venue: Online – RWA Moodle Platform
Booking Link: https://www.trybooking.com/BHGZS
Character Led Plotting by Samantha Bond
Samantha Bond is a reformed corporate lawyer, now writer, public servant and enthusiastic writing mentor. Her creative work has been published in numerous literary journals, anthologies and magazines. She has an Advanced Diploma of Professional Writing, and taught at TAFE as a creative writing tutor for five years. She also runs creative writing workshops, has taught for Romance Writers of Australia, RW America, SavvyAuthors, and Flinders University. As a reviewer since 2008 for Indaily and Glam Adelaide, Samantha has had over 250 articles published. Finally, Samantha is a busy mum of two littlies, is an unapologetic chocolate addict, believes that Buffy would so slay Edward (which perhaps shows her age), and is a writers’ festival groupie. If you’d like her services, she’s contactable through her website, www.samanthastaceybond.com.