Breakout Workbook, Donald Maas, Plotting, Writing, Writing Resources

Writing to Breakout II – Plot

breakout workbookThis week, we’re looking at Donald Maas’ Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. My goal is to inspire and educate you to the basics of writing, and hopefully help you find resources to enhance your writing.

Yesterday, we looked at Lessons 1-12, Part I, Character Development from Donald Maas. The lessons covered everything from adding heroic qualities to a protagonist (the one we root for), to antagonists, to enriching the major cast with secondary characters. I listed one point from each, and encouraged you to acquire this workbook and complete the fill-in exercises at the end of each lesson to help you grow your novel.

Today – I’ll be listing the lessons from Plot Development with a “nugget” from each. This unit covers Lessons 13 to 24, everything from raising the stakes, complications, layering plot lines, subplots, turning points, conflict, and adding tension.

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Encouragement, Plotting, Writing

Writer’s Resource – Plot and Structure


James Scott Bell's Plot & Structure
James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure

One of my resources for writers is James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure. I read some of this book as part of my online writers classes. It’s very good, and covers a lot.

What I like about this book is that he has it laid out very well, and there graphs, tips, quotes, and at the end of each chapter is a set of writing exercises. That’s what makes this book practical. In his Introduction, Bell has six tips which explain what it takes to learn to plot. (from pages 3 – 5) In later posts at later times, we’ll skim through and see what Bell has to offer – or – you can get the book and read it yourself. I’m just going give you a taste of them.

Today’s Recommended Resource: James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure. Everything you need to know about plotting out a masterpiece can be gotten from this book.

Example of an Exercise: “Go over the opening chapter of your work in progress (or write one now). What techniques will you use to grab the reader from the very first paragraph?”


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