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I’m Kathleen Bolton, and I’m a plot-aholic. I have an addiction to trying out plotting methods (see my roadtest [1] of the Vogler method). I try one, it seems to fulfill the juice I need for the fix, but by the next weekend I run across a new method and I just can’t leave well enough alone. I have to try it out. A vicious cycle.

Stella Cameron’s method [2] was an early favorite of mine until I realized it lacked specifics. But I think it’s a great place to start thinking.

If your brain is wired to absorb information in a Powerpoint outline, Music Therapie [3] has done all the work for those who favor a three-act structure.

I tried the popular Snowflake Method [4] for a story I ultimately abandoned (it’s not a jinx, I swear), and the advantage to this method is that it asks the writer to figure everything out before writing a single word of the manuscript. This is a good option for intense plotters.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the inimitable Holly Lisle and her treasure-trove [5] of tips for writers. Lisle runs the gamut from how to get that initial germ of an idea into a workable idea to how to format a manuscript. She’s got a pretty good plotting method called Plotting Under Pressure [6].  Give it a go for your next project.

I’ve got another story idea I want to plot out in the coming weeks.  I’ll let you know how it goes. 

Do you have a favorite plotting method?  Let us know.  We’re always casting around for the Next Great Tool for writers.

About Kathleen Bolton [7]

Kathleen Bolton is co-founder of Writer Unboxed. She writes under a variety of pseudonyms, including Ani Bolton [8]. She has written two novels as Cassidy Calloway [9]: Confessions of a First Daughter, and Secrets of a First Daughter--both books in a YA series about the misadventures of the U.S. President's teen-aged daughter, published by HarperCollins, and Tamara Blake, for the novel Slumber [10].