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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for my disorganized brain!
I snagged the The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master from my local library and loved it! I am a very visual person, her diagrams and down to earth writing style helped me better visualize the story I had been desperately trying to compose. My pile of post-its became a navigable map guiding my writing toward a powerful and meaningful tale. I...
Published on August 3, 2012 by L. Montano

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Returning It
This is confusing and all of the charts and diagrams feel more like a grammatical-math class. If you are already well organized into your story then this might help. It will take a lot of fussing and you need the main text also. Just not what I need.
Published 5 months ago by Randyl's Reids


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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for my disorganized brain!, August 3, 2012
This review is from: The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories (Paperback)
I snagged the The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master from my local library and loved it! I am a very visual person, her diagrams and down to earth writing style helped me better visualize the story I had been desperately trying to compose. My pile of post-its became a navigable map guiding my writing toward a powerful and meaningful tale. I found holes in my plans, ideas for improvement, and she empowered me to make those changes with gentle, actionable tasks.

I ordered the workbook as soon as I discovered it was available. The workbook is a strong supplement to the book. I feel like the book is more the 'whats' and the workbook is more 'hows'. The ideal option is to have both books together, but I don't think you must have both to benefit from her guidance.

Many writing books have crossed my desk. This is the strongest plotting book I have read so far. =D
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for Any Writer - Even those who think they know plot!, July 20, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories (Paperback)
After poring over The Plot Whisperer, I was beyond excited to learn that a workbook was coming out. I pre-ordered it the same day and waited and waited for the release date. Imagine my excitement when it shipped early! That excitement increased when I started reading it.
I read through it once and then went back and started working through it. For the first time, I truly understand what I've been missing and, even better, I truly understand what to do!
Writers at all levels can benefit greatly from this book!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Opening Scene, June 9, 2013
This review is from: The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories (Paperback)
My first fantasy novel has become an ongoing project that has sucked me in and spat me out countless times. My plot as a whole is solid, but the beginning has been a challenge. When I say that, I'm being polite.

I took my first beginning to my critique group. Nope. It was too confusing, because I had started the story too late. I started the story earlier and tried again.

I took the new first chapter to my critique group. Still not enough backstory so I started still earlier.

When that didn't work, my confidence deflated. I remembered a plotting diagram in the Plot Whisper and The Plot Whisperer Workbook. They were in my "to review" stack. What better way to test them than this first chapter fiasco? I mentally issued the author a challenge. Drag me out of this writing slump, Martha Alderson. I dare you.

The plot diagram, Alderson's Plot Planner, includes the character's emotional development. Although I was convinced that the problem was plot not emotion, I sat down to do the activities. After all, a dare is a dare.

I created character emotional profiles for my protagonist, my antagonist and side kick. Apparently, Mr. Sidekick is not the goody-two-shoes people see; this new knowledge deepened the story.

I typed a list of scenes. Not difficult, but they were more numerous than I had expected.

I found a 6-foot-long piece of paper as recommended by Alderson for a full-sized plot planner. I wasn't convinced I needed this much, but I typed my scenes including plot, subplot, emotional arc, dramatic action and theme. As I cut and taped to the chart, I realized it would take 6 feet of paper. Then I got another shocker. Original scene #1 was now scene #6, at the first turning point.

I had originally started the story way too late, a fact I would have seen on this type of plot diagram. Alderson has you look at turning points. At the first one, your character commits to a course of action different from his opening goal.

At the turning point, my character decides on revenge. If I had been using the Plotter from the start, I would have plunked down a revenge chapter and realized that the story needs to build to this point, not start here.

I highly recommend these books. The Plot Whisperer explains the concepts you will use, showing how each is essential. The workbook takes you through exercises that get the job done.

There are sections on exploring theme; creating story arcs for your antagonist and secondary characters; how and where to work in details; testing cause and effect; and working in backstory.

I'm looking forward to playing with theme but I'll also study the sections on backstory and all the rest. Why? Alderson has already surprised me multiple times by supplying tools I need before I understand that I need them.

--SueBE
This review first appeared at the WOW! Women on Writing blog, The Muffin.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Companion, August 11, 2012
This review is from: The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories (Paperback)
Martha Alderson has created a perfect companion for her earlier Plot Whisperer:Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master. She has also provided a perfect personal companion to accompany writers on a carefully supported journey to success. The dedication tells us the author has a love of the craft instilled by her father at an early age. The readers know she brings his gift full circle by giving them what they need to believe in themselves.She sets up her organization immediatley and clearly states how the ideas will be presented. The reader is encouraged to make the book very personal by working through the exercises that will give their own work foundation and direction. As with the earlier book, she is generous in her use of fine literature of all types to show how an author creates plot and employs sound technique. This makes it easy to think about and fill in templates and other visual aids creating the structure of ones own novel.
This book along with the first would certainly be valuable tools for the solitary writer or for the writer participating in a writing group. Martha Alderson is definitely an author who writes to support the personal satisfaction and success of others.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plot, Plot, Who's Got the Plot?, October 12, 2012
By 
C. J. Singh (Berkeley, California, USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories (Paperback)
.
Reviewed by C. J. Singh (Berkeley, California)
.

Plot, Plot, Who's Got the Plot? After you've done the
exercises in this workbook, you do.

You'll find doing the exercises easier if you've studied
the main text
[[ASIN:1440525889 The Plot Whisperer:
Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master]]
(See my review of the main text on amazon.)

To the examples in the main text, the workbook adds instructive
illustrations from classics like F. Scott Fitzgerald's
"The Great Gatsby" and Ernest J. Gaines' "A Lesson Before Dying,"
as well as several twenty-first century bestsellers such as:

* "Change of Heart: A Novel,"
by Jodi Picoult, published in 2008.

*"Help: A Novel " by Kathryn Stockett,
published in 2009.

* "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel"
by Helen Simonson,
published in 2011.

Five stars.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best plotting tool on the market, September 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It would be insane for a farmer to try to plow his fields with a shovel. It would be exhausting work with little results. Farmers need tractors to plows fields. Tractors allow the farmer to plow more land in a very short amount of time with no exhaustion and the end result is food on the table and money in the bank. Martha's book, The Plot Whisperer's Workbook. Is the tractor that will revolutionize your writing. Take it from me. I've tried every writer's plotting aid out there. They were all shovels compared to Martha's workbook. I've already had my first novel optioned for film and when I pitched my book to 17 agents at a pitch slam in New York, they all requested a copy of the manuscript. I now have an agent and am on my way to being published. I'd still be hopelessly digging away one shovel at a time if it weren't for The Plot Whisperer's Workbook (I also bought the companion book which provides a thorough explanation of the essentials of plotting - the workbook lays out the process step by step.) You just fill in the blank forms in the book. When you finish filling in the workbook, all of the parts of your story that you've been unable to pull together (the plot and subplots and character arc and theme and action and suspense) will finally come together as the story you have to tell, the story you've been trying to tell, the story you've been
dreaming to tell. If you're serious about being published, whether you're just starting or working on a revision of a completed manuscript, The Plot Whisperer's Workbook will help you reach your goal. It won't write your story for you but it will simplify the writing process so you can enjoy
writing your story and getting it published! Three cheers, FIVE stars and hip hip hooray for The Plot
Whisperer's Workbook!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's like having the perfect writing partner by your side as you write..., August 28, 2012
This review is from: The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories (Paperback)
I like to use this workbook the way some of you use the 'Surprise Me' feature Amazon gives you as you're 'Looking Inside' a book you're interested in buying. I write my story first, then I pop open The Plot Whisperer Workbook to see how I can
tighten up my plot, maybe, or tweak a character's backstory. Martha wants to help us
keep going which is the best coach anyone can ask for. She really really REALLY wants you to get to the end of the story.
And she's taken the time to think about all the obstacles that will present themselves along the way, giving us great suggestions for moving forward with our story. This workbook is always on my office floor SOMEWHERE, sometimes
buried underneath the body of one of my four Golden Retrievers! So there you have it. Get this Workbook and
finish that book!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Form vs Content- Alderson gives you form, August 23, 2012
This review is from: The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories (Paperback)
Dorothy L Sayers or Agatha Christie never murdered anyone but helped to set the form of the genre of the mystery. Edgar Alan Poe may have lived a dissipated life but invented the mystery and created the detective fiction genre. Martha Alderson reveals the form of the novel, making is easy to rise above the fear, pain, terror and self- loathing procrastination of writing and see the skeleton you can climb on to create a best seller. There is form and content in everything and Alderson gives you the form to pour out the content. She may not have written a best selling novel, but neither did Poe in his lifetime yet left us the fabric or form of the mystery novel and a template to create our own. I use her new book like a ladder to my own novel and she steadies and guides me through my precarious accent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plot Whisperer Workbook, February 23, 2014
This review is from: The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories (Paperback)
This workbook helps with practical exercises for plot and structure. I had written about one hundred and fifty pages of my second novel and found it was unraveling. When I stumbled onto Martha Alderson's book, Plot Whisperer, I knew it could be a life saver. She offers examples from the original text which should be used in conjunction with the Plot Whisperer Workbook. Alderson takes you through major plot points at the beginning, middle and end of the story. For example, you look at the main character's goal in the beginning, middle and end. The changes provide proof of a true character arch.
The universal story follows life itself. Human elements introduced in the beginning of a book, continue in the middle and foreshadow the end. The Plot Whisperer Workbook will keep you on track and enable you to reach a strong climax.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plot Whisperer Books, November 6, 2013
This review is from: The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories (Paperback)
I just finished giving Martha's book: The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master a 5-star rating. I purchased the workbook also. Using them together has changed my writing. I have multiple writing books on my bookshelf, but these are on my desk. I always thought my favorite authors sat down to the blank page and wrote fantastic stories. I've been trying to fit that model for years and though I'm sure many writers succeed this way, I've realized my brain doesn't work like that. I stumbled upon Martha Alderson's YouTube videos on "Plotting a Novel, Memoir or Screenplay". Light bulbs started going off. I'm working on a novel now and can say for certain that I would not be where I am today without using the pre-plotting plan she outlines in the book and workbook.
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The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories
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