Alan Gratz’ BAN THIS BOOK: The Journey of a Quiet Hero

Before I plunged myself so deeply into picture books, I was struggling with a middle grade book in which the hero was too quiet, too passive. There was a big disconnect between the “flavor” of the boy in my mind and the actions I was trying to make him do on the page. In part, […]

There’s Plotting and there’s Planning…and Then There are Surprises

I’m a plotter, never a pantser. Would I love to be (more of) a pantser. Oh, heck, yes. In writing and in life. In life, I’m a planner, although I will stake a claim to have loosened up at least somewhat in the last decade or so. But I love and use lists and calendars, and […]

Martha Alderson: The Plot Whisperer Blog Tour, Day 3

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 […]

Plot-Driven vs. Character-Driven

Warning: This post may be a bit rambly and confusing. It’s one of those where I’m going to be thinking as I type, trying to figure out a few things. I can’t tell you yet whether the post will end with a conclusion or a questions. Or a dozen questions. Oh, well. Feel free to […]

I’m on Page WHAT?!

I wrote a fun scene the other day. One of those BIG scenes–when things turn in a different direction for your hero. When your hero turns things in a different direction. It was rough. I knew I still had a long way to go to turn it into the scene it ultimately needs to be […]


I talk often to other writers about plotting. And not-plotting. And how much we do. And whether it’s an outline or a chart. And so on and so on… If you read my blog at all, this probably isn’t news to you, but I’ll put it out here anyway. Hi, I’m Becky, and I’m a […]

Moving Forward: When to Let Go of Plotting

Everybody has their own style of writing. We talk a lot about plotters and pantsers, but-just like anything in the world–these are pretty black-and-white divisions. I admit I’m more of a plotter than most writers I know–I love the feeling of creating the puzzle pieces before I get started with decorating them. I love to […]

Cause: The All-Important WHY

Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while know I’m a plotter. I had to “pants” for a while on the first draft of this WIP, and it was not a happy place for me. Effective, yes, but not happy. So, of course, I’m in love with being back to plotting as […]

Today, Character Definitely Comes Before Plot

When I finished the first draft of my WIP and after I did the happy dance, I decided I was going to do some major plotting before I started on Draft 2. I had spent enough time with that exploratory first draft and now I wanted structure. Big time. So I opened Scrivener and I […]

This is My Brain. This is My Brain on Plot.

This post is dedicated to Terri Thayer, for listening and not once telling me I’m crazy. What my brain tells me when I announce that, in the second draft of this WIP, we may be dropping one entire, MAJOR plotline: Wow! Wouldn’t this be a betrayal of Character X? Who just happens to have been […]