Journeys of the Heart

An author's journey

Eat, Drink And Plot!

rt 2008 redu (2)Starting a new book?  Written your characters into a corner?  Plot holes that need to be filled?  Then you might want to consider a plot party.  Members of the Pocono Lehigh Valley Romance Writers have been doing just that for almost ten years.  Inspired by an article I read years ago about several famous authors (whose names sadly I’ve now forgotten) who got together one weekend a year to work out all their plot problems, I hosted the first one in my living room.  After the first successful event, other members took over.  This past weekend I had the pleasure of playing hostess once again. 

The weather cooperated and ten authors, some published, some not, gathered on my deck.  My dining room table almost groaned under the lavish treats required to fuel this creative endeavor.  Plates piled high with cheese, crackers, raw veggies and dip, chicken salad pita sandwiches, apple pie and much more, plus drinks, we began.  In order to be fair to everyone and to keep the brainstorming sessions running smoothly, names were drawn from a basket.  A time limit of 15-20 minutes per story was agreed upon. 

The stories ran the entire genre gamut from paranormal and historical romance, suspense and middle-grade mystery to women’s fiction, YA and erotic supernatural thriller.  We even discussed a nonfiction proposal for a workshop on promotion. 

Ideas flowed freely, no doubt assisted by all the carbs and sugar we had ingested.  By the end of the afternoon, everyone who attended went home with a list of suggestions to fill in plot holes, add complications or shore up a characters motives and/or the story’s conflict.

 It’s not necessary to be part of a big writer’s group to try something like this.  The party principle works just as well with critique groups or a few trusted friends whose input you value.  By its very nature, writing is a solitary occupation, but when it comes to working on your next plot you don’t have to do it in a vacuum.  You can have fun and generate great ideas.  After all, everyone loves a great party. 


July 13, 2009 - Posted by | Writer's Life


  1. Great blog, Kathy! It was so inspiring to hear about everyone’s current projects and all the ideas generated by the creative writers around the tables. The air buzzed with fabulous ideas along with nature’s creatures and the odd helicopter or plane going to or from the nearby airport. Delicious food, inventive writers, excellent input and ideas!

    Comment by pattie | July 13, 2009 | Reply

  2. The plot party was a lot of fun and gave me some fab ideas for plotting the third book in my series. Can’t wait to dive into it now. Thanks to everyone for the brainstorming and thanks Kathy for hosting. It was a great day.

    Comment by Kathy Kulig | July 13, 2009 | Reply

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