Non-Fiction Fridays Book Review: Rock Your Plot by Cathy Yardley
Where Rock Your Plot differs from other plotting books is that it is unashamedly aimed at genre (read; popular) fiction. Which means it works great for THE most popular genre of all, romance, and that’s what I’m going to focus on in this review because I am recommending this book SPECIFICALLY for romance authors who want to improve their plotting skills.
Cathy Yardley knows exactly what she’s talking about. She’s written category romance for Harlequin, among many other things in a stellar career. She knows how to plot out a romance novel scene by scene, to make it hit all the correct beats at the right times, and in Rock Your Plot she shares a really simple method for doing so.
Starting with a one-line story premise and building on through to an outline of every single scene (up to 60!) in a full-length novel, Yardley walks you through the exact process to create a ‘draft zero’ of your story. From this, you will know exactly what to write in every scene, and it’s honestly absolutely invaluable to know what you’re going to write when you sit down to write it. There’s no such thing as writer’s block if you have a literal road map of exactly what to write in front of you.
Following the methods outlined in Rock Your Plot could take you as little as a day to plot out a full novel, and it will speed up your writing incredibly. If you’re a romance novelist who wants to do NaNoWriMo and you’ve only got a vague idea what you’re going to write, or a half-assed concept, do yourself an enormous favour and pick up this book NOW. Use the time until the start of November to plot, and you’ll avoid that moment dreaded by every pantser about a quarter to a third of the way in where you stall out completely.
Five stars for a writing resource I can honestly say has really changed for the better the way I go about my writing.