But, I think I've outgrown the group. The 'originals' have all broken off into smaller groups (me included) and in my case, I feel like splinter group I'm in is more at my level of writing. Actually, I think they're better than my level of writing. I think that's a good thing, as I can always be striving to be as good as the rest of them.
Anyway, the reason I went was because the topic of the little pre-critique talk was plotting. It's something I'm not good at. I've rewritten my work-in-progress a number of times but always get stuck at the same place -around page 50. I'm determined to get past it this time by trying out all the different plotting methods and finding one that I can live with.
Friend and co-critique ND came to our little splinter critique group with an outline that was five pages! And he went through multiple families and had full names, ages, birthdates for all his characters and outlined his plot so thoroughly, I felt even I could write his story based on the outline.
Maybe that is the way I should think about it: as if I had to give instructions to another person to write my story...
So I rushed to our local indie bookstore and picked up these two books:
- Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson - it looked like a length I could handle and anybody calling themselves 'plot whisperer' should probably know what she's doing, right? that's my rationale.
- Ready. Set. Novel! by Christ Baty, Lindsey Grant, and Tavia Stewart-Streit. This is a workbook with lots of blank pages and cute illustrations. I'm a sucker for these kinds of things so I picked it up.
- Story by Robert McKee
- The 'Snowflake Method' source: Randy Ingermannson (not a book but a series of lectures?)
- The Writer's Compas by Nancy Ellen Dodd
- Something called the 7 point method. I forgot to write down the source. I'll find it...