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Writing Links: Plotting, Rest and More

Writing Links: Plotting, Rest and more

It’s been a tad busy here with summer baseball still going strong and a few deadlines I’m hurtling toward, so I’m keeping this short.

Last Saturday at writer’s group, we discussed various three-act plotting beat sheets. I thought you might enjoy them, too.

Michael Hauge has a fantastic Structure Chart to print out and keep handy.

Download Michael Hauge’s Six-Stage Structure Chart here.

If you need help understanding the terminology in the structure chart, Janice Hardy broke down the stages in this excellent post.

Read Janice Hardy’s “Plotting with Michael Hague’s Six-Stage Plot Structure” here.



Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat has a fantastic take on the three-act plotting structure. I’m a big fan of Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat beat sheet. I’ve found two terrific resources about it.

  1. Read Tim Stout’s “The Blake Snyder Beat Sheet (aka BS2)” here.
  2. Find Jami Gold’s take on Blake Snyder’s beat sheet (with scene and page breakdowns) in her Worksheets for Writers section here.



Finally, it’s easy to burn out as a writer. I loved this practical article by Beth Wangler (via Hannah Heath’s blog) with nine ways to avoid it.

Read “Don’t Write Every Day: 9 Ways to Rest and Rejuvenate” by Beth Wangler via Hannah Heath’s blog here.


How is your June going? What advice have you gotten lately that resonated with you?

Have a great weekend!

Discussing Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction

Discussing Wonderbook,

I was at the library last week–shocking, I know–and came across a delightful book in the new nonfiction section. Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff Vandermeer has an engaging, whimsical cover, and I had to pick it up. With stunning graphics, author essays, and entertaining chapter subheadings, Wonderbook was sure to be right up my alley.

I haven’t had a chance to dive into it in depth, but I’ll be taking it chapter-by-chapter until I finish. I have a feeling this will be one I buy for my writing-craft shelf. One of my goals this year is to consistently study and apply writing craft techniques. This spring I brushed up on several chapters of Donald Maass’s The Fire in Fictiona book I’ve read more than once. It’s really good. And I’m excited to find other craft books to return to again and again.

One thing I’ve noticed over the past few years is that more nonfiction books are being printed on thicker, glossier paper with ample photographs and illustrations. I’m drawn to these books. Visual aids always help me! Anything that breaks up the text keeps me engaged–bullet points, subheadings, graphics, charts, you name it. Wonderbook is full of them.

Here’s the cover of Wonderbook.

Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer,

This all-new definitive guide to writing imaginative fiction takes a completely novel approach and fully exploits the visual nature of fantasy through original drawings, maps, renderings, and exercises to create a spectacularly beautiful and inspiring object. Employing an accessible, example-rich approach, Wonderbook energizes and motivates while also providing practical, nuts-and-bolts information needed to improve as a writer. Aimed at aspiring and intermediate-level writers, Wonderbook includes helpful sidebars and essays from some of the biggest names in fantasy today, such as George R. R. Martin, Lev Grossman, Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, Catherynne M. Valente, and Karen Joy Fowler, to name a few.

Purchase a paperback copy of Wonderbook: Amazon



Since my laziness factor can get REALLY high, especially in the summer when beach reads are calling my name, I schedule study time. If a craft book has long chapters, I will tackle a portion of a chapter per session (I aim for three sessions a week). If the chapters are short, I study a chapter at a time. I write out notes on paper then type them into a digital notebook (I use OneNote) for easy access. Sometimes a book doesn’t grab me, and I give up on it, but most of the time, I get a lot out of the craft books I read.

One nice thing about Wonderbook is that it has a dedicated website with gobs of extras. You can find out more at

How do you study the writing craft? What are your favorite resources? Please share!

Have a terrific day!

Jill Kemerer is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


What Are Your June 2018 Goals?

Jill Kemerer's June 2018 Goals!

June!! This year is flying by. It’s time to check our progress and post new goals. Who’s with me?

First, I’ll update you on how I did in May.

Jill’s May 2018 Goals:

  • Finish drafting the fourth Wyoming Cowboys book.
  • Finalize all promo for Reunited with the Bull Rider. This means writing guest posts, creating graphics, contacting media, etc…
  • Begin plotting new series.
  • Health: Exercise 4-5 days/week AND stay at low end of calorie range to lose a few pounds.



  • Finish drafting the fourth Wyoming Cowboys book–yes! I squeezed it out a week later than I’d hoped, but I did complete it in May. Check!
  • Finalize promo–almost. I put some of my graphics and posts together the first week of June, but it all got done. Not quite check.
  • Begin plotting new series. Nope. A meeting was scheduled for early June which might have impacted the plot directions, so I decided to wait until after the meeting to plot. No check!
  • Health. Total fail. TOTAL FAIL!! Not only did I completely drop the ball exercising, I stopped tracking calories too. Ugh. NO CHECK!! 

Jill’s June 2018 Goals:

Although May looks like a lot of “no checks,” I regrouped and am mentally back in the game. That’s the key to goals–when you don’t meet them, you move forward. It’s okay to have setbacks. Just get back in it!

  • Finish plotting three books and write short synopses for each.
  • Write sample chapters for book one.
  • Health–exercise 4-5 days/week, track calories using MyFitnessPal app and stay within calorie range.

That’s it!

How did YOU do last month?

What are your June goals?

Thanks for joining me on this journey!

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