I know--all you want is the giveaway, right? Well, keep reading!
I've been thinking a lot about plot lately as I develop a workshop I hope to offer in 2011. I'm a serious plotter (as opposed to a "pantser," an author who just sits down and starts writing without a specific plan in mind). Most writers I meet fall somewhere in between, and I admit I fall a bit on the anal-retentive side. (Yes, my crit partner does call me Rain Man.)
Here's the workshop scoop:
QUILTING THE PERFECT PLOT: Storyboards, sticky notes, spreadsheets, index cards...throw 'em out! With a simple word processing program, you can easily stitch together the perfect quilt of a plot to keep your novel moving, help with worldbuilding, and keep your characters from wandering into the desert. This course uses a six-step technique to plot your novel from start to finish, and will give you a huge head-start on your first draft. This will be a working course: bring your best idea (you know the one that's been bubbling in your brain for six months but you haven't figured out where to start?) or a manuscript that's wandered into a maze, and we'll shape it up and get it moving.
The idea behind the workshop is not to plot out every step so that creativity is stifled, but to provide a framework so the creativity can flow without the story wandering off course. A lot of it boils down to defining the relationships within a novel, figuring out how those relationships get from Point A to Point Z, and then patching all those relationship growth points into a...quilt! Er, novel.
One author who's a master at this is J.R. Ward. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I'm bonkers over the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. (Hey, has anyone read the new Fallen Angels series yet?) No matter which brother is the lead character in a given novel, Ward is careful to give us a glimpse into where the other character relationships are. So even if you're reading Lover Mine, John Matthew's story, you know what's going on with Rhage or Z or Wrath. It takes a huge balancing act to get all that story in place without it being clunky or intrusive.
So in honor of Plot (and JR Ward is infamous for creating these monster plotting outlines), I'd like to offer one commenter the choice of any of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books--or, if you already have all of them--one of the first two Fallen Angel series books. For the record, that's: Dark Lover (Wrath); Lover Eternal (Rhage); Lover Awakened (Zhadist); Lover Revealed (Butch); Lover Unbound (Vishous); Lover Enshrined (Phury); Lover Avenged (Rhevenge); or Lover Mine (John Matthew). They're best read in order, so if you're new to BDB start with Dark Lover.
You know the drill! Comment for one entry & tell me which book you want; +1 for blog follower; +1 for Twitter follower @Suzanne_Johnson; +1 for each Tweet or RT. Make sure I have your email address. This one's open INTERNATIONALLY.