The Ponderous Path to Plotdom

A few years ago I found copies of Ready, Set, Novel by Chris Baty, Lindsey Grant, And Tavia Stewart-StreitReady, Set, Novel! by Chris Baty, Lindsey Grant, And Tavia Stewart-Streit

(the illustrious heroes of the sacred halls of This book has sat in a drawer because, well, I’m a happy pantser. This is how I work. I’ve mentioned this before (feel free to check out a previous post The Eternal Question). It is an absolute joy to write this way. The shocked gasp when my plots go all wibbly wobbly certainly amuses anyone around me. Thus this workbook has sat.

Recently NaNo put on a NaNoPrep webinar with four writers. Jonathan Maberry (YA horror and freelance comic book work among other things) mentioned that he uses Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass as a starting point for every one of his novels.

by Donald MaassI wandered to to Barnes and Noble this morning to take a look at Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook and found it was $20. Not too bad as an investment if you’re going to plot but it wasn’t in my budget this morning. And then I remembered the tome entombed in my drawer, long forgotten. I hurried home and dug out the Ready, Set, Novel workbook. What better way to start plotting for NaNo than with an officially official NaNo workbook.

The first activity is to get you used to marking up the book. There is a huge square and you have to fill it. Anything goes. Brilliant. A way to get you into the “write in this book” mindset and get random garbage out of your head, or put some inspiring quote on the page surrounded by some fancy doodling.

I’m really going to put out the effort to do this year’s NaNo this way. And I do mean a lot of effort. This is so out of my skill set. I just found the “What-if” Activity. Sheesh. My brain doesn’t work that way. I’m analytical. I have a hard time what-iffing things I don’t want to happen and things that are simply improbable if not impossible. Yikes! At least that’s followed by some internet sites that will spark some ideas.panic-149063__180

I’ll keep you posted and let you know if I freak out and abandon the Plotter Path to return to my Pantser
Predilection. Plus, I’ll let you know how the book is as a whole.


Also, a reminder if you’re in the Spokane region to RSVP in the Kick-off/Midnight Write-In thread if you haven’t already.

2 thoughts on “The Ponderous Path to Plotdom

  1. jaycegrae says:

    This is awesome. I’m so glad you mentioned that workbook by Maas. I just watched the replay of that video and was going to check it out, but now I don’t have to. =) Also, must say that I’m pretty much a pantser too, but if you can do it, so can I! Newby-plotters, Unite! *giggle*

  2. jaycegrae says:

    Reblogged this on Adventures in NaNoLand and commented:

    Are you planning for NaNo yet? You really should be, it’s coming! This Saturday night! Eek! I’ll be taking a look at the book Pacifika discusses below and seeing if I want to do this along with her. I still have 5 days, right?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s