I count myself lucky in many ways. A big one of those ways is all the amazing people that my writing has brought into my life. And one of those people is Martha Alderson.
You probably know her better as The Plot Whisperer.
Martha and I met over ten years ago, in the first critique group I joined when I moved up to the Bay Area. If you’d asked either of us back then if we thought we’d write books about writing, I think we would have laughed pretty hard. I don’t know, though–one of the things I love the most about Martha is that she always dreams…and dreams big. So the fact that she has just published her second book on writing–or to be more specific–on plot, should be no surprise. And if you’ve followed her tweets at @plotwhisperer, you’re not surprised either. In fact, you probably can’t wait to read the book!
Well, you’ve come to the right place. (Okay, you’ve come to one of the right places. Tomorrow, the blog tour stops at Not an Editor, where Mary Baader Kaley is also having a giveaway. And check out Martha’s blog for a complete list of her blog tour stops and other chances to win a copy.) I’ve got TWO copies of The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master to give away. I usually run my contests for a while, but I’m keeping this one short so you’ll have time to enter all the other contests, too. I’ll draw the winners Thursday night and announce them Friday morning. Make sure to stop back!
Let me tell you a little bit about Martha. Yes, she dreams, but she does more than that. She continuously shares that dream with others. Martha understand plot, but–as she’ll tell you–it’s an understanding she worked to reach, so she absolutely gets how those of who are not so good at plotting feel. Because of this, her advice is always sympathetic and supportive, but it’s also strong. One of the best things about having had Martha as a critique partner is that she never gets lost in the words, in the stuff that fills in and layers around the plot points. Every time Martha has read a piece I’ve written, or done a plot planner for one of my stories, she has zeroed right in on the big pieces of the plot. Sometimes, it’s the lack of those pieces, but one of the best things Martha ever said to me was, “This has too many plots. It’s too crowded.”
Guess what? She was right.
Martha believes in plot. She recognizes that there are many writers who worry that, by plotting, they’ll make their story stiff or formulaic. She recognizes and respects that fear, but she also reassures us–rightly, I think–that the plot is the container, the structure, that holds all the magic we could ever want to write. And she coaches us through all the steps of creating that plot.
I bought Martha’s first book, Blockbuster Plots: Pure and Simple, when it came out. And last night, I drove over the hill to attend Martha’s launch party at Capitola Book Cafe and buy her new book. I talked earlier about this week how I’m struggling with plot on this WIP. I’m thinking it’s pretty nice of Martha to publish The Plot Whisperer just when I need it.
That’s just how she is!
I’m not doing NaNoWriMo, but I know a lot of you are. You’ve still got time to do a little pre-plotting and, even as you write as speedily as possible, you can be thinking about story. If you haven’t checked out Martha’s YouTube series on plot, do so now. And leave a comment for this post to enter my giveaway copy of The Plot Whisperer. (If your comment ID doesn’t include an email, please leave that in the comment as well, so I can let you know if you’re the winner!)