RWA® Online
Chapter #136, Romance Writers of America®

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RWA® Online Presents

Avoid the Rough:  Turning Your Story Idea
into a Workable Plot

Presented by Catherine Chant
October 6 - 26, 2014

Register Now!


About the Class:

Do you have a story idea but aren’t sure what to do next? Have you started writing a story, but now find your plot stuck in a corner? Have you lost interest in your story idea because the plot became boring? Whether you’re a plotter who loves to outline or a pantser who prefers to hit the open road without a map, a broad strokes outline can help you avoid the pitfall of the unworkable plot.

Avoid the Rough (or as I like to call it Avoiding the “Rough” in Rough Draft) guides you in creating a broad strokes outline at the “idea” stage, so you get the “big picture” of the story right away and can more easily spot and correct plot problems, such as the sagging middle or superficial conflict, before they become writing roadblocks that waste your time. If you’re stuck in a story, the broad strokes outline can help pinpoint where you might have taken a wrong turn and guide you back to the right course.

You don’t necessarily need to write a bad “rough” first draft. A little planning can save you a lot of time during revisions. And a broad strokes outline, which only hits the high points of the story to keep you on track, won’t bog you down with so many details you feel stifled. You can still write by the seat of your pants, if that’s your style, but the outline offers you some boundaries so you don’t disappear into the weeds and have to start all over.

And as a bonus, your outline quickly converts into a brief synopsis with only a little editing and gives you a head start on your query letter.

The instructor will give feedback on all homework and offer students the opportunity to submit homework privately if they don’t feel comfortable sharing their plot ideas in a public forum. Students who complete all the exercises will have a broad strokes outline and a draft of a brief synopsis completed by the end of the workshop.

Lesson topics include: Story Idea, Main Characters, Character GMC and Story Problem, Conflict, Inciting Incident, Turning Points, Black Moment, Resolution and Character Arc, and Turning the Outline into a Brief Synopsis, with a bonus lesson on writing a logline for queries or conferences.


About the Instructor: 

Catherine Chant is a PRO member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and a Golden Heart® finalist. Her first novel, WISHING YOU WERE HERE (Soul Mates #1), is a young adult time travel romance and available in both print and electronic editions at Amazon.com.

Catherine worked for 15 years as an IT computing & communication consultant at Boston College before becoming a full-time writer. She currently teaches four online workshops for writers at various RWA chapters throughout the year. Her non-fiction work has appeared on numerous websites where she writes instructional articles about computing, gaming and crafts.

Catherine is currently working on a new young adult suspense novel, and the next book in her Soul Mates series.

You can find out more about Catherine at her website CatherineChant.com, Twitter @Catherine_Chant or Facebook CatherineChantNovels.

Register Now!


Registration Period: September 23 - Oct 2, 2014

 Registration Deadline: Oct 2, 2014
 

Note: Email us at workshops@rwaonlinechapter.org (or fisc40pa@aol.com)  for questions. Workshops are archived for approximately two weeks after the course ends.

Fee: $15 

RWA Online Chapter Members ONLY receive free workshops.  No registration required for chapter members.

 Payment method: PAYPAL is recommended! Checks and money orders also accepted, but register early and mail your payment promptly. No person will be allowed in unless payment is received.

 Format: Courses are conducted via online discussion (bulletin) board on the RWA® Online website (no email loops).  Non-chapter members MUST complete both the workshop registration AND the discussion board login registration for access.

Instructions for login are presented after the registration page (or to return to the login instructions, CLICK HERE. The workshop is available for up to one week after the end date and a downloadable archive of the workshop will be available the week following the workshop.

 

About RWA® Online Chapter Workshops

RWA® Online conducts all workshops via a message board system located on this website.  However, access to the site is restricted by login and password to ensure that the workshop is only available to those that are authorized to attend.  Please read the instructions below to understand our process:

1.  You must register for the workshop using the registration links above.  This is the only way to get the information on how to access the workshop site.

2.  All workshop participants must be registered on the website message boards located under the News and Members Only tab above.  NON-CHAPTER MEMBERS:  Follow the instructions on the page you get AFTER your workshop registration.  Both login and payment information is available there.  If you forget and need to go back to those instructions, click here.

3. A couple of days before the workshop, you will be emailed reminders on the workshop and where to find it.  If you forget, click here to take you to the workshop discussion boards or use the WORKSHOP FORUM ACCESS link above.  If you are NOT a registered user of our bulletin boards, all you will see is our GUEST LOUNGE and NEWS forums.  Once your login is approved, you will also see a WORKSHOP CHECK-IN forum.  The actual workshop forum will not open until the day prior to the workshop start date.

4.  The workshop presenter will post discussion and lecture information, as appropriate, on the first day of the workshop.  Participants are encouraged to respond to the discussion topics.

5.  Because the workshop is a professional activity designed to further participants writing skills, we request that social chit-chat be kept to a minimum. 

6.  Postings deemed inappropriate in content will be deleted without warning to the message author.

7.  Otherwise, we hope everyone who participates in the workshop has fun and learns a lot.  Please remember to thank our guest presenters who take time out of their schedules to provide their wisdom and guidance.

8. If you have any questions, please email If you have questions, feel free to contact us     for more information.