Sunday, April 24, 2011

Guest Post: Plotting a Storyline

I wanted to share yet another guest post with all of you that will help get those juices flowing as we come to the end of the 30 days/30 stories. I’ve been touring award-winning author Renee Hand this month and asked her for some insight on how she crafts her storylines for her two award-winning series. Here is what she had to say.

Plotting a Storyline with Award-winning Author Renee Hand

I can honestly say that I have no specific, technical, brain-zapping method in plotting my storyline. 

I have been writing for over 25 years and believe me when I say that you can get super technical when it comes down to your writing, but if you focus on all of the technicality, how are you supposed to write, hhhmmmm? So here it is, plain and simple. 

Mysteries, which is the genre I consistently write in, has several parts. Most of these elements apply to your basic story as well. These are the things you need to have an idea about when you start your story.  If you have this as your guideline, you can improve and develop it from there. 

First, you need to gather ideas. What is your story going to be about? What genre? Where is the story going to take place? So on and so forth. 

Next, you must think about your main and minor characters. You need to figure out names, ages, how many characters you will focus on, and so on. Some characters will develop as you continue along. 

The plot of a mystery is that there must be a problem and the main character(s) must solve it. Is something or someone stolen, missing, or kidnapped? You must have a list of clues, with one being the case-cracking clue; remember I am talking about mysteries here. You can throw in a red herring if you like, or a mislead. 

You must have rising action. Your story needs to build up to the climax-where the conflict of the story comes to a head. You should have an idea on how your story is going to end, though in all actuality, your ending will most likely change as your story develops. 

Remember that the climax of the story is not your ending. The ending must have a good resolution to the problem and be satisfying to the reader. My advice is to relax when writing. Don’t worry about so much and let your ideas flow.   

There are so many rules and methods in writing that we could literally suffocate ourselves with them. Don’t worry about them at the very beginning. Get your ideas down on paper. Once down, develop them from there. 

Remember that proofreading, revising and editing are great times to become more technical about what you should and shouldn’t have. 

Renee Hand is an award-winning author, educator, tennis coach and various other things. Hand has been writing for over twenty years and has six publications. She also writes for various chronicles and newsletters, as well as reviews for various authors of children´s books on her blog,

You can find out more about Renee Hand’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour at

1 comment:

The Crypto-Capers Series said...

Thank you so much for posting this for the tour. I greatly appreciate it.