Plot Outline Mini Course from Author Holly Lisle

In the spirit of preparing for Nanowrimo next month, I'm posting about several different plotting methods. Hopefully, like Little Red Riding Hood, you'll find one that fits "just right". Last week, we took a look at Rubik's Cube Plotting. This time, I'm letting you know about a fantastic course on plotting, by a prolific author.

And it's free.  Sadly, it's no longer free, but almost! It's now just $0.99.

I've already written a post about the very generous Holly Lisle, author of thirty-two books, so let's take a look at her plotting course. Nearly 600 writers have already signed up.

Why is this course such a fantastic one for Nanowrimo? Read this quote from Lisle's sign-up page: 

"Even if you have NO story idea, NO characters, and NO experience, you can finish a complete working plot outline in just 7 lessons . . . for free!"

What will you learn in just seven downloadable lessons? This is part of the description on Lisle's site.

Lesson 1: What is NOT a Plot
Discover a secret about plots that even most professionals don't know---a secret that has led way too many writers, including countless full-time novelists, in circles trying to figure out why their story is going wrong.

Lesson 2: Mix 'n Match Conflict
Even if you have no idea what you want to write about, you can build a solid foundation for a good story in just minutes.

Lesson 3: Questions and Answers
Once you have conflict under control, you'll find out one technique for giving your story and characters depth, and making your story unbelievably richer and more interesting.

Lesson 4: Candy Bar Scenes
You'll discover and apply one critical technique for keeping your story flowing and keeping your interest high from beginning, through treacherous story middle, to gripping ending.

Lesson 5: Ordering Scenes for Conflict
In your fifth week, you'll experiment with structure to discover how you can best present your story to your reader.

Lesson 6: Filling in the Blanks
In week six, you'll hunt down empty spaces between your candy bar scenes, and fill them with story that MATTERS---not with pointless wandering, characters who sit around thinking, or dialogues that go nowhere.

Lesson 7: Plotting as You Go
Stories change as you write them. In your final week of class, you'll learn how to adapt your plot outline to bend with the changes---without breaking your story.

Are you hooked yet? I'm signed up. Lisle recommends spending only 15 minutes per day planning your story.

Check out The Free Plot-Outline Course page for more details and testimonials before you decide. Who's with me?


  1. I think you mean Goldilocks . . .

    Thanks for all these great resources!

  2. Thank you, Rebecca! Definite brain freeze here!




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