- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Adams Media; Workbook edition (August 18, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1440542740
- ISBN-13: 978-1440542749
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories Workbook Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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
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!
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.
This review first appeared at the WOW! Women on Writing blog, The Muffin.
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