Quilting the Perfect Plot (and a JR Ward Giveaway!)

I know–all you want is the giveaway, right? Well, keep reading!

I’ve been thinking a lot about plot lately as I develop a workshop I hope to offer in 2011. I’m a serious plotter (as opposed to a “pantser,” an author who just sits down and starts writing without a specific plan in mind). Most writers I meet fall somewhere in between, and I admit I fall a bit on the anal-retentive side. (Yes, my crit partner does call me Rain Man.)

Here’s the workshop scoop:
QUILTING THE PERFECT PLOT: Storyboards, sticky notes, spreadsheets, index cards…throw ’em out! With a simple word processing program, you can easily stitch together the perfect quilt of a plot to keep your novel moving, help with worldbuilding, and keep your characters from wandering into the desert. This course uses a six-step technique to plot your novel from start to finish, and will give you a huge head-start on your first draft. This will be a working course: bring your best idea (you know the one that’s been bubbling in your brain for six months but you haven’t figured out where to start?) or a manuscript that’s wandered into a maze, and we’ll shape it up and get it moving.

The idea behind the workshop is not to plot out every step so that creativity is stifled, but to provide a framework so the creativity can flow without the story wandering off course. A lot of it boils down to defining the relationships within a novel, figuring out how those relationships get from Point A to Point Z, and then patching all those relationship growth points into a…quilt! Er, novel.

One author who’s a master at this is J.R. Ward. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I’m bonkers over the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. (Hey, has anyone read the new Fallen Angels series yet?)  No matter which brother is the lead character in a given novel, Ward is careful to give us a glimpse into where the other character relationships are. So even if you’re reading Lover Mine, John Matthew’s story, you know what’s going on with Rhage or Z or Wrath. It takes a huge balancing act to get all that story in place without it being clunky or intrusive.

So in honor of Plot (and JR Ward is infamous for creating these monster plotting outlines), I’d like to offer one commenter the choice of any of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books–or, if you already have all of them–one of the first two Fallen Angel series books. For the record, that’s: Dark Lover (Wrath); Lover Eternal (Rhage); Lover Awakened (Zhadist); Lover Revealed (Butch); Lover Unbound (Vishous); Lover Enshrined (Phury); Lover Avenged (Rhevenge); or Lover Mine (John Matthew).  They’re best read in order, so if you’re new to BDB start with Dark Lover.

You know the drill! Comment for one entry & tell me which book you want; +1 for blog follower; +1 for Twitter follower @Suzanne_Johnson; +1 for each Tweet or RT. Make sure I have your email address. This one’s open INTERNATIONALLY.

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate’s Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man’s Curse; Black Diamond).

21 thoughts on “Quilting the Perfect Plot (and a JR Ward Giveaway!)

  1. I would love Lover Eternal!

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    total: 3

    email: c4casey(at)comcast(dot)net

  2. Well, I’ve read ’em all twice, and I own them all, so don’t enter me, but I have to say, when I first read about how extensive the Warden’s outlines are, I thought, “She’s just an incomplete pantser.”
    But what the heck do I know?
    Your workshop sounds AWESOME, sign me up!

  3. Sounds like a great workshop, Suzanne!

    You know I would love to win one of the BDB series… hehehe… I have bought a few of them over the last few days, so I think I would like to win Lover Unbound, Lover Avenged, or Lover Mine. I’m pretty sure those are the only 3 that I don’t own now. lol

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    the_happy_soul AT yahoo DOT com

  4. The WARDen is the top of the ladder for me… She is the best… I have read all of these books… The Brothers at least 3 times and The Fallen Angles once but I will be doing a re-read before the next book in each series comes out… Cause I am a freak like that….

    So since I have all of these books I don’t feel it is right for me to win one… Just wanted to show my love an support….

  5. Awesome giveaway, thanks for this! And with what you just posted on plotting, I can’t wait for your workshop…it sounds like just what I need!

    I’ve heard so much about Black Dagger Brotherhood but haven’t read any of them yet (I know, right?) so I would love to start off the series if I win!

    Thanks again, and I follow you here and on Twitter (@jmanni32)


  6. I’d like Dark Lover, as I haven’t read any of them.

    +1 blog follower

    Thanks for the comment on my blog today. If I win (fingers crossed) you can contact me there. Thanks!

  7. Actually any one of the books would suit me fine as I haven’t read them at all.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    +1 for comment
    +1 I Follow via GFC.

    Thanks and enjoy your holiday season.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmailDOT com

  8. I love the BDB. It was one of the first paranormal series I read.

    I would love to win Crave.
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