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The Busy Writer's One Hour Plot [Kindle Edition]

Marg McAlister
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"I have gone to writer's conferences for over 10 years now and have read most of the books out there on writing. Your One-Hour Plot book is the best tool I have read and heard about. It has completely changed how I write. I HATE outlining and plotting; I am a pantser. But, with your approach, I can do it and not hate it. Using the One-Hour Plot, I am able to create an easy outline. Thank you for writing so simply that I can understand and apply your advice immediately. (But, simplicity does not mean your books are not full of powerful material. On the contrary!)" Stacy Duplease

If you're a busy writer who loves to write, but hates to plot... the One-Hour Plot System is just what you've been looking for!


Lots of people have great ideas for a book. They're so excited that they just can't wait to fire up the computer and start writing. Dizzying visions of being a popular author with fans lining up for the next book have them bashing out page after page... for a few days. Or maybe even a few weeks.

Then the harsh reality sets in. They take a day off writing The Novel, because they have come up blank. They can't seem to work out what should happen next... maybe a night off will help?

The next day they still can't think of what to do next, so they take another day off.

Uh oh.

Is this the dreaded 'Writer's Block' they've read about???

Probably not. It's more likely to be You-Forgot-to-Plot-Your-Book Block. The sad truth is that while some writers can write day after day and plot 'on the fly', most of us need to have some idea of where we're going.

It's not necessary to sit down and create a 40-page outline or spend days on character profiles (although you can if you want to!) but you will have a better chance of writing your book quickly and easily if:
  • You know what your characters want,
  • You know why they want it, and
  • You know how they plan to get it.
That's where the Busy Writer's One-Hour Plot comes in. It shows you how to sit down with a timer and a handful of index cards, and work out a solid framework for your story... in just 60 minutes.

But it doesn't stop there.

It also shows you:
  • How to prime the pump (so the ideas flow during that 60 minutes)
  • How to tweak your plot (you have the framework - now start fleshing it out)
  • How to use sub-plots
  • How to write a good ending
  • How to add a twist
  • Where to find further resources (because good writers are always thirsty for more knowledge!)
Everyone can spare an hour. At the end of it, armed with The Busy Writer's One-Hour Plot, you could also have the beginnings of your own best-seller.

More comments from writers:

"I've just tried the one-hour plot and loved it! I had no idea how the story would end so this surprised me... this is fast and doesn't let me procrastinate." Sharon Halasz

"I closed the door. I muted the mobile. I set the timer for an hour. I started with an idea and I went from there... When the timer buzzed an hour later I had an outline of the plot: setting, character motivation, obstacles, action, character growth and the all-important ending. I had a working outline of my next novel!" Margaret Warner.


Product Details

  • File Size: 141 KB
  • Print Length: 44 pages
  • Publisher: Marg McAlister; 1 edition (May 14, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0083FXTB6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,449 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little gem! May 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If only I'd had a copy of this beaut little book years ago when I set off with gusto to write a children's adventure story. The words flowed off the end of my pen and everything was going along swimmingly until, with the heroine dangling precariously outside a fourth floor window, I realised, with a jolt, that I was not too sure how she got there in the first place, I had no idea how she was going to get down and I wasn't too sure what was going to happen to her if and when she did. To this day that poor girl remains suspended out that window and her uncertain future is locked away in a drawer with all my other false starts.

What I had then lacked was planning and plot. Marg McAlister's book would have been invaluable. Now, having devoured it cover to cover, I have before me my stack of 5X8 cards, a clock, a stop watch, pens, notepaper and an hour to spare. I'm off.

I highly recommend The Busy Writer's One Hour Plot.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A writer's best friend May 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is amazing because it gives you laser like focus on all of the important elements of your story. This point should not be undersold as it is the foundation of a good book and if it fails your book fails. Creating a plot is far from easy, yet the methodology available in this book makes it all more do-able for us mere mortals and that is what I love about it. Just one read and your mind will be swimming with ideas. More importantly, these are ideas that lead you on to the right path, not unwelcome detours.

The book goes through step by step all of the processes needed to create a plot for your story including items such as:

i) creating believable characters with real personalities and 'depth' to them
ii) creating worthwhile conflicts and obstacles
iii) conjuring lead roles
iv) effective creation of sub plots and twists
v) creating satisfying endings

A few other points about this book. Essentially the author has broken down storytelling into its most basic parts, making it simple (not simplistic) and exceptionally easy to understand.

This is more like a great tool than a book and is also of much use to editors as well to get your writers on the right path.

Overall, a must buy for any aspiring writer or editor looking to whip their writers into shape.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Busy Writer's One Hour Plot May 15, 2012
By JK
Format:Kindle Edition
I have read many books about all aspects of writing during my writing years. None compare with this book - it's a winner for sure. It is clear, concise and to the point. With tips for bringing your characters 'out of the shadows', finding plot ideas, brainstorming, conflict and resolution plus ideas for great endings you can only end up with something really worthwhile at the end of your hour. It's a great way to ensure that you have a plot ready to go in a short time frame; one that leaves you full of enthusiasm for the next stage of writing. I've now tried the One Hour Plot and have a plot ready to go for my next story. Thanks, Marg McAlister.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step by Step Character Creation. July 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Thankfully I found this book before I embarked on a blind attempt at a first fiction work. I have often considered writing a work of fiction but had this (apparently) incorrect assumption, that talented individuals just had this script turn up in their head - they went to a remote and gorgeous location, typed it up on an old typewriter, and some knight in shining armour editor turned up at the exact moment it was finished, to tweak it into a manuscript. This book by Marg McAlister has changed my thinking - thankfully.

In a clear and highly readable way - interspersed with humour, Marg McAlister has illustrated that the creation of characters for fiction is a skill that can be learnt. I also now believe I can learn it.

The greatest surprise for me was the amount of information the author was prepared to share with her reader. It has been my previous experience that professional writers carefully guard their tools and their skills - giving an overview of how they achieve success, but not a road map for assistance. Here is the road map with succinct instruction of how to get to each location - each part of the process of building a character of strength. I got far more than I expected and at its completion, links that gave me so much more even.

Thank you for your generous contribution to understanding the process of character creation and for the wealth of information in this book. I recommend this book to new writers, conditioned writers and procrastinators with a dream. It's certainly opened my thinking to believe `I can do this too'.

GraceLee Patrick
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another way of putting together an outline December 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Marg wrote a very easy to understand method for outlining a plot and opening the writer's mind to what you can do with your characters. She also goes into detail on explaining how to get your plot ideas down on cards quickly and efficiently. However, there are a lot of pieces of advice out there that are just us good that are free, and that can help just as well. I personally prefer Alicia Rasley's 30-minute plot solution as a worksheet. By the time you work through all nine of her questions, you've got all the same information as you would working through Marg's booklet here. And it's free. But this is good too. It just depends on how you like to work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved!
Simple, practical, and extremely useful. What more can you ask for? I can't wait to get plotting, should be fun!
Published 17 days ago by Big Girl Branding
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth The Price I Paid
I just started out writing fiction and this book opened my eyes to a few things I hadn't thought of or thought they were more complicated than they needed to be.
Published 19 days ago by CareDog
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful for the busy Author
This is a great book to keep on hand. I found the ideas easy to use and would consider them as I plot my next novel. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nolen
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of Money
Don't waste your money. Unless you know absolutely nothing about writing, there's nothing for you here, except the advice to do the steps you already know need to be done in the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by KSH
4.0 out of 5 stars Just Do It
Marg says, yes, think about Plot, Characters, then take just an hour to Do It.

What she says to do is what most middle-to-advanced writers already know & she doesn't add... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Linda Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Used The Steps in the Book, and they work!
I had the beginning idea of a story, but wasn't making any progress, so I used the system Marg described and, while keeping a couple of the ideas, I completely re-worked my plot,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Howard J. Kammerer Jr.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Start to Plotting
I really like Marg McAlister's books having also bought her Busy Writer's Guide to Crime. This book will help to get you started on your Plot - the main characters, antagonist and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kathryn
5.0 out of 5 stars More of a NECESSSARY TOOL than a book
Of all the books i've EVER read about writing, this one is BY FAR the best. I use the index card method it teaches almost EVERY day. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Juan Blea
5.0 out of 5 stars Great advice
I found this book full of great tips. A reliable, easy, method to transform your ideas into a plot for a novel.
Published 4 months ago by Helen Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful if you're overwhelmed regarding plot!
Very much enjoyed this! While I have written for years, I have been stalled--for too long!--working on my first novel, a lot because of plot. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
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More About the Author

Marg McAlister has been an avid writer since she was about 9 years old, and has worn many different writing hats over the years. Marg has written fiction and non-fiction for both adults and children. She was on the Committee of Romance Writers of Australia for four years, and has run workshops at various RWA National Conferences.

The author of more than 60 books for children, she has also tapped out short stories for school magazines and numerous short non-fiction pieces for popular magazines and educational publications.

In 2001, she set up a website for writers (www.writing4success.com) which now hosts hundreds of articles for writers of both fiction and non-fiction, as well as e-courses in creating plots and characters.

Marg is the author of five correspondence courses on writing now marketed by Open Colleges in Australia, and has been a ghostwriter for business professionals and others on the international speaking circuit as well as a staff member of the Writer's Retreat Workshop in Kentucky, USA. This workshop, established by Gary Provost, has been designated by USA Weekend as the writing program "vacation that can change your life".

Marg's current projects include how-to books for writers on Amazon Kindle, as well as a fiction series under a pseudonym. Since she is lucky enough to be a writer who can work while she travels, she is also producing a series of books on the RV Lifestyle. The first one is, of course, about how you can earn money as a writer! Stay tuned...






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