Jump to content

Plot Gardening by Chris Fox



I am on a bit of a roll this past weekend. I managed to get through a couple of things in my backlog stack of many things.  I picked this up and it was a quick, easy read.  I'm old fashioned, surprisingly, as I still love the feel of paper and a bookshelf I can go do when the power's out, so I have this in paperback.  I also put a lot of Post-it Flags on various pages of interest. 

This book talks about a topic and then shows how it is done in a handful of movies that you have probably seen.  There are also handy little exercises at the end of each chapter that I think would genuinely help.  I've held the book off to the side so that I can give this a whirl on two of my writing projects. 

If you are a "seat of your pantser" writer, this approach might help with outlining.  I'm going to give it a try.  It's worth a read.

  • Like 1

1 Comment

Recommended Comments

Thanks for the recommendation, I just picked this up. Hope it will help when I tackle my next project.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By jamessavik
      In my latest project I've got more than a hundred named characters.
      Insanity!? Probably but, that's how I roll. Goofy bastard.
      So... how do you keep track of it all? It's a struggle.
      These are the tricks I'm using and, the pros and cons of each.
      1. Dramatis Persona... word document
      This worked Ok until it got to sixteen pages with notes and pointers to other entries. Then it became too complex and cumbersome to easily work well. It lost the virtue of simplicity when it was overloaded  with more and more complex and unformed information.
      This is what it looked like at first:
      Chris Ashley (19) == Father Ashley (n)
      Tony Ramano (18) == Mother Maria Ramano (n)
      Toby Rankin (13) (d) == Father Sam Rankin (deceased)
      Brandon Rankin (14)(d) == Father Sam Rankin (deceased)
      Jeb Somerset (15)(d)  == parents Somersets of Savannah
      Cole Matthews (14)(d) == Father new age fruitcake
      Barry Anderson (13) (d) == trafficked child, actual name is Cutler
      You don't want to know what happened later. Each entry expanded from name, age, shift (day or night), parent to paragraphs and description and sketches and why the F* are my notes outpacing the writing???
      This still exists but it has been trimmed down to only what is needed at a glance. Just basic stats. If I need hair and eye color... Well that's my next step.
      2. Dramatis Persona... note cards
      Anybody that's ever written a paper knows about note cards and how handy dandy they are. They were hyper-text before there were computers, right?
      WRONG. Three by five note cards are amazing things. They help in lots of ways... until they become a horrific cluster of complexity and you can't find your arse with a flash light.
      Once again, Keep it simple, stupid. Index cards work but, you can't expect them to be a database.
      They are useful for marching ideas across the desk, matching up characters and seeing how things look. If you keep them simple and don't try to do too much with them, it works FINE.
      Keep it simple and, it works best if you can remember how to write. (That's actually a thing- handwriting vs keyboarding).
      3. Dramatis Persona... spreadsheet- for the win.
      Yes it is a clear winner. It's searchable. You can make fields for EVERYTHING. Want to search by how many redheaded characters you have? It's possible. Want to sort by age? You can do it. Want to know who is boffing who? Yeppers, it's a complete possibility.
      There are highly complex writing packages that you could spend forever learning and not get anything done. Databases are possible but if you can do that, someone wants to hire you to fix the mess his last guy left.
      Spreadsheets are old tech and have been around forever. The key thing about them is they are built generically enough that as your complexity grows, it can accommodate you without breaking anything or having to start over.
      Your mileage may vary. If you've got a sane number of characters, data management isn't a huge issue. You may absolutely love Scrivner and have figured out how to make it all work. That's fine. If you can use Excel, you've got a serious power tool.
    • By crucifixcrusader
      Hey I'm curious, does anyone use some ambiance when writing like music or a specific you-tuber? I personally, quite often have music that fits the mood of what I'm writing, or listen to Fredrik Knudsen.
    • By Nick Brady
      A recent comment in the Writer's Forum about a story involving a disabled person gave me the idea for a story about a blind college student that I befriended many years ago. I have posted a number of stories here on GA - (Carhops, Goats and Bugs, the Marco series and the Nick series). These were reposts that had previously appeared on another site but the new story will appear here first. Since it is new, and because the topic could be a bit sensitive, I would really like a Beta reader. Not so much for the usual grammar edit, but for content. I think there is a good story here and I don't want to screw it up. Any volunteers?
      Thanks, Nick
    • By Thorn Wilde
      I've been meaning to do NaNoWriMo for years, but I never got around to it. November always seems to be a bad month for me. So when I heard about Camp NaNoWriMo this year, I decided this was my chance. So, in April, I finished and rewrote Nemesis. And I won! I'm sort of giddy and very pleased with myself right now.
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..