Friday, April 27, 2012

Resources to Help You Plan Your Book: Plot Talk, Pt 5

Courtesy of Google Images
I'm wrapping up the plotting and pantsing series with some great resources recommended by several Twitter friends, that I didn't yet mention in parts 1-4 of the series. (If you want to check those out, the links are below.)

And... I'm doing a little giveaway too. Details at the bottom of the post!

But first, let me make my own final recommendation: Jim Butcher's blog. If you've read my blog for a while, you already know I love The Dresden Files as a reader. I also highly respect Butcher as a writer. He is one of the few people who has kept me around for 13 books and counting, and frankly, I'm jonesing for his next book in the series.

Part of my passion results from the terrific cast of characters, who I just don't get tired of. But I also admire Butcher's ability to keep his plots moving. He is a master of scene and sequel, and he talks quite a bit about how he learned to write on his Live Journal blog. Page down to his posts on writing, and you will definitely learn something about structuring a novel. I know I have.

Now, for some friends and their recommendations...

Rene Sears (@renesears), who guest posted for part 3 of this series (see link below), recommended the Kait Nolan post, From Pantser to Plotter. Kait's post captures a lot of the problems that arise when you're pantsing without a plan, a hope, a prayer... You get what I mean. It's worth a read. (And the pictures are great too!)

Joe Hesch (@JAHesch) recommended K.M. Weiland's Outlining Your Novel, a $2.99 ebook available on her website. I haven't read it myself, but since Joe is recommending it, I'm sure it's a useful resource.

Lisa Hall-Wilson (@LisaHallWilson) suggested using the templates available at the Self Publishing Team blog. For some reason, I wasn't able to access the website when I wrote this post. So, I hope the site is just temporarily down.

The social media guru for writers, KristenLamb (@KristenLambTX), suggested Larry Brooks' Story Engineering. His blog is, which Rene also recommended in her post. Kristen also said that Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell (@jamesscottbell) is a must-have. 

Rosalie Lario's post on Using Turning Points to Pace Your Novel shows how planning (aka plotting) your big moments in the novel, and spacing them properly, helps you propel the reader forward, creating a quick read. I have to apologize to whoever recommended this post to me. I can't find it in my Twitter feed. If it was you, let me know, so I can credit you here!

If you missed the earlier posts in this series, check them out here:

To Pants or Not to Pants
Common Myths About Plots and Pants
Learning to Love Preplanning
Making My Own Map

Ok, now for the giveaway contest... I've got several books that I've enjoyed, but hey, I have to clear shelf space. So, I'm going to start giving them away. This week's giveaway is the young adult dystopian novel Variant by Robison Wells, one copy in hardcover. Here's my review of it. You get one entry each for doing the following:

  • Comment on this post and let me know you want the book, as well as sharing something about your experience with plotting and pantsing
  • Like my Chipper Muse page on Facebook (or if you've already liked it, leave a comment there)
  • Tweet this post or another Chipper Muse blog post to your followers, and be sure to @chippermuse me so I know you tweeted about me.

I'll announce the winner on Friday, May 11. So be sure to join in the fun! See you next week!

Copyright (c) 2012 by M.A. Chiappetta. All rights reserved.


  1. Hello! I'd love to have a copy of that book. I'm a big fan of dystopias. I didn't realize that Jim Butcher had a blog. I've been a reader of the Dresden Files, but I've gotten a little behind over the years... I blame work!

    Thanks for sharing these sites!

  2. Hi, Sue. Thanks for stopping by! Consider yourself officially entered in the contest. I'll announce the winner May 11. Yes, Jim Butcher has a blog at LiveJournal. Truthfully, he doesn't post to it more than a few times a year. But the posts he has done about writing are truly useful, very practical, and easy to understand. I think he just gets how to communicate how he writes his stuff, and with 13 novels and counting, it's working for him. So his advice is worth checking out.

    Are you working on writing of your own?


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