Writer Wednesdays at Sixth Element, and planning your plot…

Hello Everyone,

Well, another week has rolled by so here I am again. Most of the workshops are done now and a big thank you to everyone who came along and contributed to what were very enjoyable and rewarding sessions. There is still time to grab one of the few remaining mentoring places (Stockton, Hartlepool and Hemlington have a couple of spots left each) but there are going fast so be quick.

If you’re not lucky enough to get your name down for a one-to-one with me then Sixth Element, our wonderful local publishing house based on the Green in Billingham, are running the following FREE event next week:

Writer Wednesdays at Sixth Element

Wednesday 30th August, 10am to 2pm
Arthur Robinson House, 13-14 The Green, Billingham TS23 1EU
Free. All welcome.

Coffee and chat

10.30am to 11.30am
Free poetry workshop with David Smith
Whether you already write poetry or not, come along for some creative inspiration that will spur on whatever type of writing you’re working on.

11.45am to 12.45pm
Picnic lunch
On the Green if it’s sunny, inside if it rains! We’ll have sandwiches and cake but feel free to bring a little something for the table if you like.

1pm to 2pm
Free short story workshop with Sixth Element
Find out what elements we think make a great short story, whatever genre you write. We’ll have lots of inspiration for the Crossing the Tees short story competition, will take a look at what other competitions you can enter and will have a chat about how writing short stories can help your novel come along leaps and bounds.

To book call 01642 360253 or email hello@6e.net and Gillie or Gramae will sort that for you.

This will also be a great chance for those of you who hope one day to see your writing in print to find out about the services 6E offer.

And in keeping with continued writer development here is this week’s input from me on plots:

Story Motors and Quests

These elements of a story help to maintain tension and keep readers interested. They are also how character and plot are intertwined in your narrative.

Quests – What does your character want/need? What are they searching for? There may be one overall quest and/or several smaller ones.

Story motors – The drama (obstacles) among the detail of your story that keeps the story moving forwards. How many story motors you need depends of the length of your story.

The beginning of a story should introduce the problem. The middle will develop the problems, perhaps adding more difficulties and obstacles. The dramatic climax is the crisis point in the story just before everything is resolved. The ending outlines some sort of conclusion, even if it is one that is not neat and finite.


Try to plan out your plot, making notes on:

• what the protagonist’s quest is
• how you will introduce that quest to readers and set the character off on their quest
• what obstacles or difficulties will your protagonist face during their quest
• what will the crisis point or climax of the story be
• how will you resolve the quest

You can do this as notes or is can help to plot (pun intended – hahaha!) it out as a line diagram that rises to the climax. This should help you see if you have too much or too little plot and give your writing a purposeful direction.

Hope this helps.

Keep writing,

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9 - 19 June 2021