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Plotting


by Jack Woodford
Over a dozen methods of plotting


Excellent book on plotting fiction. Woodford’s contention is that authors plot with many different strategies and there is no single best way. For this reason, he introduces every method of plotting he has used or come across. Some of them are very unusual such as the “Plot with a floy, floy” technique where a single dramatic and picturesque scene is chosen and the plot is grown backwards and forwards until the story is complete.

The author even comments that some of plotting techniques have been impossible for him to use, but he has witnessed other writers use them with wonderful results. If you have found the traditional plot outline constricting, the variety of methods presented by Woodford is a godsend.

As with all of his non-fiction work, Woodford can be fairly caustic, particularly to religious sensibilities. However, he provides so much humor, insight, and know-how that the book is excellent reading for all writers. While some of the target markets he describes are gone (short stories for the slick magazines of the early 20th century, for example), the great writing information and advice is generally timeless and very useful.

Highly recommended.