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Professional Plot Outline Mini-Course [Kindle Edition]

Holly Lisle
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $5.99
Kindle Price: $0.99
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Book Description

No one is BORN a writer (just as no one is BORN a lawyer). We all have to learn the SAME skills. But no matter where you're starting...

Even if you have NO story ideas, NO characters, and NO experience, you can finish a complete working plot outline in just SEVEN tiny lessons.

If you have ever labored to come up with a GOOD way to start a story...
If you have ever stumbled, lost and frustrated, through the MIDDLE of your book...
If you have ever wondered, "How do I find an idea worth writing?"...

Stop Struggling. Help Is Here.

Start with Section One, where I'll give you each step to creating a quick, professional plot outline. I'll do a demonstration, and then, because writers write---they don't just read about writing---you'll do the exercise in which you'll take what I've demonstrated and use it to start building your working plot outline.

Step by step, you will:

Figure out your character.
You'll decide on the few points about him or her that really matter--but enough to give you a place to start your story, and not so much that you get bogged down in background and never get to your writing.

Decide on your central idea.
You'll figure out what actually counts in your story, so you avoid getting bogged down writing details that don't.

Write your opener.
You'll learn how to give yourself and your readers a GREAT first look at your character doing something fascinating.

Create your ending.
You'll discover one method of planning out a great conclusion.

And rough in your middle...
You know...all those pages that used to bog you down when you couldn't figure out what happened next? Not anymore.

But That's Just Section One.

My Professional Plot Outline Mini-Course also includes seven sequential plot-and-conflict lessons--to make sure you create a story that is tight, fascinating, compelling...

...And as fun for you to write as it will be for your readers to read.

Lesson One: What Is NOT A Plot

Discover a secret about plots that even most professionals don't know--a secret that has led way too many writers, including countless full-time novelists, in circles trying to figure out why their story is going wrong.

Lesson Two: Mix 'N' Match Conflict

Even if you have no idea what you want to write about, you can build a solid foundation for a good story in just minutes.

Lesson Three: Questions And Answers

Once you have conflict under control, you'll find out one technique for giving your story and characters depth, and makig your story unbelievably richer and more interesting.

Lesson Four: Candy Bar Scenes

You'll discover and apply one critical technique for keeping your story flowing and keeping your interest high from beginning, through treacherous story middle, to gripping ending.

Lesson Five: Ordering Scenes For Conflict

Learn how to experiment with structure to discover how you can best present your story to your reader.

Lesson Six: Filling In The Blanks

Now you'll hunt down empty spaces between your candy bar scenes, and fill them with story that MATTERS--not with pointless wandering, characters who sit around thinking, or dialogues that go nowhere.

Lesson Seven: Plotting As You Go

Stories change as you write them. In your final lesson, you'll learn how to adapt your plot outline to bend with the changes--without breaking your story.

If you've always wanted to write, but weren't sure where to start, start here.

You can do this.

Cheerfully,
Holly Lisle


Editorial Reviews

From the Author

MORE THAN 10,000 STUDENTS went through this course in various versions on my website before I took it public.  I received hundreds of letters from folks who discovered that they suddenly understood what plot outlining was about, why and how it worked, and discovered at the same time that they could do it well.

I cannot promise my methods will work for you.  But I can promise that if this course works for you, you'll be able to learn from my other courses.
  • CREATE A CHARATER Clinic--2nd Edition (coming Aug. 15, 2012)
  • CREATE A PLOT Clinic
  • CREATE A CULTURE Clinic
  • CREATE A LANGUAGE Clinic
  • How to Write Page-Turning Scenes
And my BIG courses---
  • How to Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers,
and (currently only available on my site, postponed in public version until late 2013)
  • How to Revise Your Novel: Get the Book You WANT from the Wreck You WROTE.

About the Author

My name is Holly Lisle, and I've been writing for my supper since 1991, when I sold my first novel, FIRE IN THE MIST, which won the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel. I went full time in 1992, and have been writing full time, and supporting my family on my writing, ever since.

I'm currently in the process of making all my private writing courses public so I can get back to writing fiction every day. WARPAINT, A Cadence Drake Novel, will kick off my return to full-time fiction writing.

You will of course be able to find it here.

Product Details

  • File Size: 275 KB
  • Print Length: 55 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Holly Lisle - OneMoreWord Books (April 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007QW2CZ6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,504 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Book Doesn't Stand Alone October 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book/mini-course, DOES NOT stand alone. If you are planning on only buying this 'mini-course,' and none of the other 'courses'/books by this author, you will have trouble. I did not know this before buying this book, and so am having a hard time trying to work with/out of this one. Do not be seduced by the cheap, cheap price of this Kindle book: you will need to buy many of her other books to even follow this one. Also, this books contains exercises you're supposed to do, but in order to do them you have to first sign up on her website, THEN she will send you the worksheets to print out for yourself. And there is something seriously wrong with the Kindle version of this book: it is CONSUMED by typos, formatting issues, missing words, repeated words, and references to page numbers with the actual number missing.

Lisle is constantly referring readers of this book back to her other books. In order to fully understand what she's talking about, and in order to do some of the exercises that are mentioned in this book (assuming you have taken the time to sign up with her website, find them, and print them out yourself), it seems like you need to have many of her other books at hand. She refers you to actual page numbers from other books! and the information contained on the page she is referring you to in the other book is not summarized for you in this one. She refers to the book, "Plot Clinic" (or "Create a Plot Clinic") a lot; just scrolling through a couple of the chapters in this book, I have counted FIVE references to this other "Plot Clinic" book. I would definitely purchase that one with this one, or instead of this one.

Lisle is also RELENTLESS about plugging her other writing books and her novels.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More of a sales pitch than a helpful book September 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I realize that this is a short, inexpensive product and that I shouldn't expect much. However, most of the skill builders and drills are web pages that she wants you to go to that have the info on them. I usually don't sit at my computer while reading my kindle so it was kind of silly to release a book that refers you to so many websites. Again, I guess that is about all you can expect from a 55 page ebook for just a buck. Granted "Mini-Course" is in the title.
Lisle is constantly pitching her other products while you read and that got really old in just a few pages.
Given the format and constant jumping around in the book, it is extremely difficult to draw any good information from it. Lisle may know her stuff but it is not displayed in this book.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to fix your story, BUY THIS BOOK June 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I can't give enough raves for this little ebook. It's, in a word, AMAZING! It's more than just an outlining mini-course. It's like the total navigation of your entire plot. You start with a character, your main character, and what he wants and likes. Oppose it with a villain. Then she gives you all these conflicts to mix and match that completely changes the life of your story. The tools she gives you for plot is worth the money alone. And all those candy bar scenes that push your plot forward and relate back to your main theme only all to it all. If this course isn't enough for you and you want more plotting info, she has another ebook called, a Plot Clinic, that is also completely worth the money you pay for it. I would recommend this for anyone from beginner to expert writer, a novelist or just someone who wants to write fan fiction. All I can say is AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, concise, easy to use May 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this mini course. I was able to blaze through it, get the main points of how to get a good outline, and put the strategies to use. The free worksheets on Holly's website were a breeze to use. Highly recommend for such a low price!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I'll explain what I loved about this course, and try to address some of the complaints I've read in the unfavorable reviews.

The material in this course pretty much did what was advertised; I am by no means done with writing (or even plotting) my novel, but I am much better off than I was before I did this course. The exercises were engaging, and frequently very illuminating. I found myself looking at plotting from a different perspective than I had before. Sitting and trying to think of a series of events isn't a fruitful exercise but I wasn't doing very well at coming up with a better way. This course showed me that you can tease out plot by looking at and exploring other aspects of your book - characters, desires, motivations, relationships, ways to link scenes you're excited about and ways to figure out the scenes that go between the scenes you're excited about, figuring out how to build to a specific ending, playing with scene order, and (literally) choosing conflicts at random from a list. I think that the most useful thing I got out of this (and it was worth a lot more than 99 cents) was realizing that rather than imagining the plot as the engine that drives everything in my novel I could use the things I knew about my novel and characters to drive plot instead. This may be Writing 101 to some, but as someone who has read more writing books than I could shake a stick at (though some of them certainly deserved it) this was the first book to take me by the hand and show me exactly what that means. The worksheets really brought the concepts home in a big way.

Speaking of the worksheets, this course is virtually useless unless you do the accompanying worksheets.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars quick and helpful
Very easy to get started and with a natural planning process that didn't confuse me. The worksheets were helpful and I loved the slight touches of humor. Read more
Published 3 months ago by S. Harricharan
1.0 out of 5 stars waste of time and money
Was never given access to the course work on the web site even after registering. Seems to be a poly just to get you to register with the site so you will spend money on high... Read more
Published 10 months ago by clyde O.
4.0 out of 5 stars Just In Time for NaNoWriMo
This book was an easy read. I took copious notes so that when I get ready to outline November's NaNoWriMo I will be able to follow through. Read more
Published 13 months ago by darswords
4.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to Holly Lisle
I bought this on a whim, and received... well, it's a tiny book.

They say good things come in small packages, and this book is no exception. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Aisling D'Art
4.0 out of 5 stars Good information - but too many other ads
There's a lot of great information in this book. The author is hilarious and at the same time very good at getting you the information you need. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Jay Cook
2.0 out of 5 stars Overly Pimps Other Books
Nearly every page of lesson directs you to purchase one of her other How To books instead of just presenting the lesson fresh. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Eli Sinclaire
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick refresher
A quick refresher guide to story writing with multiple references and advertisements for the reader to purchase Lisles other titles.
Published 18 months ago by Alan Brown
3.0 out of 5 stars Just okay
Too much of an overview. Her create a plotline book is better and more complete. Her usage of examples is distracting.
Published 19 months ago by truthteller
2.0 out of 5 stars Self published non-pro
Less than Average content - excellent example of how to self publish and get more money by parting out information commonly found at your local library
Published 19 months ago by James Batson
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenally helpful for 99 cents
I've been stuck on a story: characters and setting and no real plot. This mini-course crossed my path, so I checked out the reviews and picked it up last night. Read more
Published 20 months ago by P. Timm
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More About the Author

Holly Lisle has been writing fiction professionally since 1991, when she sold FIRE IN THE MIST, the novel that won the Compton Crook Award for best first novel. She has to date published more than thirty novels and several comprehensive writing courses. She is currently working on the second book in her Cadence Drake series.

Holly had an ideal childhood for a writer...which is to say, it was filled with foreign countries and exotic terrains, alien cultures, new languages, the occasional earthquake, flood, or civil war, and one story about a bear, which follows:

"So. Back when I was ten years old, my father and I had finished hunting ducks for our dinner and were walking across the tundra in Alaska toward the spot on the river where we'd tied our boat. We had a couple miles to go by boat to get back to the Moravian Children's Home, where we lived.

"My father was carrying the big bag of decoys and the shotgun; I was carrying the small bag of ducks.

"It was getting dark, we could hear the thud, thud, thud of the generator across the tundra, and suddenly he stopped, pointed down to a pie-pan sized indentation in the tundra that was rapidly filling with water, and said, in a calm and steady voice, "That's a bear footprint. From the size of it, it's a grizzly. The fact that the track is filling with water right now means the bear's still around."

"Which got my attention, but not as much as what he said next.


" 'I don't have the gun with me that will kill a bear,' he told me. 'I just have the one that will make him angry. So if we see the bear, I'm going to shoot him so he'll attack me. I want you to run to the river, follow it to the boat, get the boat back home, and tell everyone what happened.'

"The rest of our walk was very quiet. He was, I'm sure, listening for the bear. I was doing my damnedest to make sure that I remembered where the boat was, how to get to it, how to start the pull-cord engine, and how to drive it back home, because I did not want to let him down.

"We were not eaten by a bear that night...but neither is that walk back from our hunt for supper a part of my life I'll ever forget.

"I keep that story in mind as I write. If what I'm putting on paper isn't at least as memorable as having a grizzly stalking my father and me across the tundra while I was carrying a bag of delicious-smelling ducks, it doesn't make my cut."

Cheerfully,
Holly Lisle

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