Free Course: Twenty Master Plot Exercises

Here's a great course to improve your plotting. Or maybe your story is stuck, and you'd like to take it in a new and fresh direction. I came across a resource that might give you the building blocks you need.

Writer Mike Barker, inspired by the book 20 Master Plots (and how to build them), has put together a course complete with exercises, that takes writer through the different types of plots. Reading through the course, you get the sense that you're sitting in a workshop with Barker, soaking in the information.

Here's the different components of his course:

Introduction: the eight common denominators of a good plot
Master Plot 1: The Quest
Master Plot 2: Adventure
Master Plot 7: The Riddle
Master Plot 10: Temptation
Master Plot 11: Metamorphosis
Master Plot 12: Transformation
Master Plot 13: Maturation
Master Plot 15: Forbidden Love
Master Plot 16: Sacrifice
Master Plot 17: Discovery
Master Plot 18: Wretched Excess
Master Plot 19 & 20: Ascension & Descension
Finishing Up: a final checklist for your plot
If that's not enough for you, Barker has a list of 281 writing exercises to try.               

What resources do you use to fine tune your plot? Or do you just wing it?


  1. I always wing it. But this isn't a bad idea either ;) Thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. Sometimes it's fun to start a new project a different way. Hope it spurs some new ideas!


  3. Thanks as always for your great river of resources! Gratefully, a fellow writing homeschooling Mom!

  4. You're so welcome, Jen! I'd love to know what you enjoy writing, and how many you homeschool. It's definitely an interesting balance!


  5. Just read the Intro and am intrigued. I'm just beginning to try my hand at fiction. Thanks for this great resource.

  6. I soooo wing it. Perhaps I shouldn't, but really, I'm just relaying what the characters said happened....

  7. Annis- Lots of writers have made the transition from non-fiction to fiction successfully. Fiction is challenging, but it's so much fun! You can be like S.M. above, whose characters talk to her! It doesn't happen as often to me, but it's fun when it does.




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