Plot Helpers

I had dinner last night with a very special niece and we got started talking about my WIP. I have been stuck for a couple of weeks and can’t seem to get past my…block? After telling her about it, she immediately told me where I was going wouldn’t work and why. I had been thinking there was a problem, but couldn’t see it, so when she stated it outright, I wasn’t too shocked. We ended up talking about different ways to make it work and I think I have found the solution.

I have heard a few times of others who get together to brainstorm and I wondered how many authors have that kind of support? How many people utilize others to find ideas, help them through plot problems, and encourage them in their writing?

It was soooo helpful to me last night, I thought maybe I really should find a group that could help me in this way. It would be so helpful to throw lots of ideas around and stimulate my creative juices. Of course, that would be just another time eater-upper, which I don’t need!

Do any of you have people to help you plot or brainstorm for story ideas?

17 responses to “Plot Helpers”

  1. My little sister gave me great insight the other day when I finally let her read my WIP. She's the age of my MC, so she was able to point out what worked and what didn't which was amazing.

    Although the rest of my family is not allowed near the book with a ten foot pole, I did discuss some generalities with them. I was stuck on my antagonists motivations. I hate one-dimensional bad guys, and I wanted believable motivations for his actions. So we discussed reasons why someone might do what he does, and just thinking out loud helped put things in perspective.

    Does that make any sense at all? My brain feels like mush this morning πŸ™‚


  2. What a fun idea! I have a critique group but not a brainstorming group. I think this could instigate all kinds of fun, laughs and new ideas!
    ~ Wendy


  3. That's a great idea! I have a crit partner (Jeannie) and sometimes we talk about ideas. But having a group of people to toss ideas too is actually a really good idea. If you start one, I'd be game! My hubby gets tired of me bouncing ideas off him… he sort of gets this glassed over look in his eyes.


  4. Great topic. My hubby is my helper. I usually start telling him my vague ideas and then he starts asking me all kinds of leading questions. That helps me figure out where to go and what to do with my story.


  5. Man, I need someone. I've been in procrastination nation for so long, I'm afraid the book will never get done.

    Good blog. Maybe you should start a group.


  6. When ever I get stuck I think of ten problems to give my MC right at that moment. That usually gets me over the hump. I'm glad you're niece helped!


  7. Megan, how cool to get insight from a family! I think it is sooo helpful to toss things around like that. Yea for little sis! She sounds like a keeper!

    Wendy, it does sound like fun, doesn't it?

    Katie, I am sure Jeannie is alot of help in the idea departmet. My husband, bless his heart, is such a jokester that he would NEVER be able to seriously give me some plot help. He'd be making jokes and thinking of the stupidest things he could just to get me to laugh. Sigh…

    Quixotic, you are sooo lucky to have a built-in plot helper! See the comment above to see what a “help” my husband is!!!

    Elizabeth, I am right there with you! I am sooo close to finishing, but can't seem to make myself. I think it was a plot problem, but part of me is afraid that I am just fearful of finishing. There is so much more to it and do I have what it takes to see it all the way through? Sigh…I need to quit thinking doom and gloom!!! So, how interested are you in joining a group like that? To brainstorm plots?

    T.Anne, now I have heard others say they do that…give the MC 10 problems. They say conflict is the best way to move the story along, so it must be true. πŸ˜‰


  8. I have people I bounce ideas off of, but not an official group. It really is a great idea! I love the name of your blog. I'm also a “wannabe.”


  9. Hey Lazy Writer! t's hard calling you that because personally, I think writers can't be too lazy…it takes alot of discipline to write! Good for you to have people you can bounce ideas off of. I am sure it is helpful. And congrats on finishing your book! That is such an accomplishment! I hope to complete mine this summer. Can't wait!!!! Thanks for stopping by!


  10. katie actually walked with me through my plot of my current WIP. we just knocked it out. “this would work,” or “this wouldn't, but if you wrote this, it could…” etc. awesome. i'm game for a group.

    oh…got your book in the mail yesterday…officially making yesterday one of the best days since my move south. (data recovered AND julie's book? heck, yeah!) πŸ™‚


  11. Nice blog! I just stumbled by. Family are awesome to bounce off of… My hubby is a great help but frankly I worry about the 'somewhat biased factor' that his feedback may contain. I finished my MS and suddenly he has become 'THE SYNOPSIS POLICE' Well maybe I am procrastinating a 'wee' bit, but really, does my every activity have to be critiqued by the comment 'That's probably easier than writing a synopsis'. I love him. I really do… Good luck fellow writers!


  12. Well, I have crit partners but we don't usually brainstorm too much. I have a writer friend I bounce ideas off of and then my sisters help sometimes. πŸ™‚


  13. Unfortunately not. I'd love to have this, though.

    I guess I do get a little taste of this via critiques with my crit. partners, but to through ideas around in person with a few friends would truly be a blessing. I keep praying for that to come my way.

    I'm glad your niece helped you, Sherrinda. That's special!


  14. JEANNIE!! I am so glad you got the book AANNNDD got your documents back! What a great day, indeed! And how awesome to have Katie to get your plot in order! I am sure she is great!

    Hi Strange Fiction! (I'm going to jump over to your blog and see what in the world you are writing!) I agree about the hubby being biased. My husband thinks everything I do is awesome, so I am not trusting him too much. And that is too funny about the synopsis police! I have not done one yet, but I know I am in for a hard ride. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

    Jessica! Yea for sisters!!!! I have 2, but haven't really utilized them. They are busy girls and don't wanna bug them. I could use my dad, since he is a professional editor, but I can't even seem to let him read it yet, so…. FEAR FACTOR!!!!

    Eileen, so you are on your own in your plot! Admirable!!! I am for the most part, but found my niece to be invaluable help this week! I will definitely use her again!


  15. I'm generally a very secretive writer. I don't like discussing my work while the first draft is in process, much less sharing it. But occasionally, getting the input of an objective outside party is necessary – if only to hear myself talk about the problem. Half the time, just hearing myself explain out loud is all I need to see the problem clearly.


  16. Brainstorming with fellow writers (sometimes just great plotters) is the way to see clear of many a sticky block. It isn't always writers who can give us the best insight, sometimes it's folks who can simply see in a linear line.

    Glad the niece could help. Groups are wonderful. It's what keeps writers sane when we hear all those voices in our heads.

    Glad to hear your past the block.


  17. K.M., wow, I cannot imagine NOT discussing my WIP! Well, maybe that is not true, because sometimes when I try to tell someone what I am writing, it sounds soooo stupid! lol Maybe I should try and just talk to myself about it and help myself like you!

    Sandra!!! How are you, friend? Aren't you part of the North Texas Romance Writers group? I bet they are a big help. I know I need to join up somewhere, but can't seem to find good times to write, much less time for group meetings!!


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