What We Can Learn from J.K. Rowling’s Series Grid | Better Novel Project

This is some amazing information if you are writing a fantasy series (I am!) Read on… You won’t want to miss this information!

Christine’s note: This is a guest post by C.S. Plocher, a freelance editor and blogger at writelikerowling.com. She co-authored a chapter about Series in Stuart Horwitz’s Book Architecture: How to Plot and Outline Without Using a Formula. C. S. Plocher is kind enough to offer a free chapter download for Better Novel Project readers! If you are struggling with the first draft of your novel, I recommend you follow in the footsteps of J.K. Rowling and begin with series. Series Is the New Plot “Series” is what author Stuart Horwitz says should replace plot. In his book Blueprint Your Bestseller, Stuart explains why he dislikes the word plot: For one thing, it is a term with nearly unlimited associations. It’s hard to get anybody to focus on what is actually going on in their book while they are worried about whether their plot is good. For another thing, plot is singular, as if it somehow references everything. As such, you can’t work with a plot. Series, on the other hand, is much more manageable. It is “the repetition of a narrative element (such as a person, an object, a phrase, or a place) in such a way that it undergoes a clear evolution.” Instead of trying to chip away at one big beastly plot, you’re working with individual series and weaving them together to create a story tapestry. Sounds much more feasible, doesn’t it? J. K. Rowling thought so. She used series to develop and organize Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Series in Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix Order of the Phoenix weighs in at a hefty 250,000+ words—talk about trying to wrangle a beastly plot! How did she keep it from crumbling into chaos? The answer is found in a one-page outline she released to the […]

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