Monday, February 22, 2016

Andrew Grey on PlotBusters!

I'm thrilled to introduce Andrew Grey today. I've known Andrew for a few years and I've met no one in the writing world who can keep pace with his writing speed. Can you imagine writing 100,000 words in a month? Andrew can and does. He attributes his speed to good plotting. Today he shares one of his techniques.

The Team in My Corner

A few years ago I joined two ladies from my local RWA chapter and we formed a plotting group.  We call it Plotbusters and the goal was to help us improve the story portions of our romances.  We all realized that we could write a good romance, but the plotting portion of our stories needed some help.  What started out as a simple exercise to review our work had developed into deep friendships and writing partners.  We don’t co-write, but I have two partners in my work who will come to my help any time.
 
Writing is a very solitary activity and with Geri and Heidi, I feel as though I have a small cheerleading section.  Not only that, but when we get together we find plot holes and motivational issues before they get on the page and help head off some rework and rewrites.  Each time we meet, we talk though our current stories and that exercise alone helps solidify the story for me.
 
There are times for every writer when they find a story meandering and directionless, at least in our minds if not on paper.  Plotbusting helps bring the story back into focus and their ideas, regardless if they actually get used, almost always start the creative process flowing again and help get the story back on track.
 
The end result has been incredible.  Within the time we’ve met, all three of us have been able to take some part of our career to another level.  Heidi got her first books published and now has regular contracts and proposals in progress.  Geri is in the process of moving from category to single title, and I have been able to add paranormal and suspense stories to my writing.
 
We have a few rules that we follow
1   1      Everyone gets a turn to review their story and get the help they need.
2   2      There are no egos.  Ideas get thrown out and no one is obligated to use them. 
3   3     We cheer the good news and are there when the bad happens offering encouragement.


You never know what will come out of a plotting session.  There have been times when the plot and characterization for an entire story has come out of a single session.  I cherish the time with my Plotbusters.  They are an important and valuable team that I’m grateful to have in my corner. 

Andrew Grey is a bestselling author of contemporary gay romance. You can find him at:

Have you ever considered being part of a plotting group? Can you imagine writing at Andrew's pace of near one million or more words per year? What do you do if you feel your plot has faltered or started to meander off course? 

26 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

That group is a smart idea. It would eliminate a lot of rewriting.

Christine Rains said...

Sounds like a fantastic group! I love my CPs and local critique group. They'll catch me if my story starts to wander. And that is a lot of words in a month. I'm immensely impressed! :)

s/v La Vita said...

We have a similar group at our end of the world. We operate within the same guidelines. We all seem to thrive with the person to person suggestions and encouragement. Thanks for telling us about your successful group.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now I do plot heavy and often reach out to critique partners before I begin, but even then I can only manage 50,000 words a month. Well done, Andrew.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks for stopping in, Andrew. What a terrific way to keep the story ideas rolling.

Pat Hatt said...

Sounds like an awesome way to keep the story rolling and be less solitary. I can do 100K in a month, but the comes the editing haha.

Ann Bennett said...

To have a tight group to work with sounds wonderful. 100,000 words, I am so impressed.

cleemckenzie said...

He must have rockets strapped to his fingers! That's an amazing number of words per month.

L.G. Keltner said...

100,000 words a month is insanely impressive! That group is a great idea! I know I write a lot faster when I have a solid plot in mind.

Natalie Damschroder said...

Even if, like Andrew, I were retired and had no kids or other daily responsibilities, I couldn't do 100k a month! :)

I always love the times I get to brainstorm with like-minded authors (those who can "get" what you're trying to do, and vice versa, even when you write really differently). The energy and fire to your creativity is incredible.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Your post is very helpful. Thanks, Andrew. No I can't imagine 100k a month, nor 1 bill a year. But I love the idea of plotting helpers. I need a plotting team!

Gerri Bowen said...

Three sounds like a good number for such a group. Also, Andrew is in my writing group and I have to say, I'm sure his laughter and sense of humor goes a long way to keep the energy high and bright. 100,000 words a month! It's a wonderful accomplishment. :)

vickyb said...

An amazing schedule and sounds like a great group. Congratulations on that kind of support!

Toinette Thomas said...

Impressive word count. The group sounds like a great idea too.

Michelle Wallace said...

Plotbusters sounds like the perfect way to "get the plot on the road" and keep it going in the right direction.
I need a Plotbuster group!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan - good to have Andrew here .. showing us how his group has worked for him, and how he and fellow plotters help each other ..

They are obviously enthusiastic in their writing, and in their help - I see there's lots of laughter too ... cheers Hilary

Sherry Ellis said...

Sounds like a terrific group and a great way to get the plot moving in the right direction.

Lissa Johnston said...

I really miss my old critique group. Have been considering joining something online, but would prefer in person. Maybe after the next move . . .

Robyn Campbell said...

I would love to have a group like this. It sounds great. Plotting and driving the plot are two things most writers do need help with to move them to The End. Sounds like it worked great for you. I write for kids (middle grade), and I think I might try to start a group like this. Thanks.

Yolanda Renee said...

Great idea. Would love to be part of one.

Lux G. said...

Whoa. I feel like I'm a slacker. That is impressive.

Deniz Bevan said...

100,000 words per month?? That is amazing. I've always wanted to try the novel-in-36-hours thing, myself.
Love the idea of a plotting group -- hearing and voicing all sorts of ideas must be so inspiring!

Nicola said...

Sounds like a great group. You must feel inspired after each gathering. I love the name Plotbusters! Thanks for sharing.

cleemckenzie said...

I'd be lost without my crit partners. They keep me on the straight and narrow. You're lucky to have such good writing companions.

J Q Rose said...

You are so lucky to have such a great group. Me too. Our writing group brainstorms a lot on plotting. We talk about how to murder the character, when to murder, how to murder, affairs, viruses, all the what-ifs, etc. Of course we are laughing and often get carried away with our imaginative thoughts. It's great fun, but this all happens in the local coffee shop. I wonder what other patrons think about these conversations. Thanks goodness no one has called the police...yet!

Tamara Narayan said...

This is a great idea. I used to belong to a local group, but a couple of key folks moved and it fell apart, which is a shame.