The Writer’s Compass: Plotting for the Directionally Challenged

The Writer’s Compass: Plotting for the Directionally Challenged

Presented by Fran Colley and Terri Osburn


Course Description:


Basic plotting techniques for writers who think “plot” is a four-letter word. Whether you’re just starting your story, or like us, you find yourself marooned and cannot imagine there is any way to get back to port (i.e. the end of your book), have no fear. Finding your way to “The End” of your novel is as easy as whipping out your compass and orientating yourself within your manuscript.


Find NORTH: characters and goals. Your characters and their goals are the most important aspects of the story. They are the story.


Find SOUTH: conflict and irony. Are your conflicts big enough to keep your characters and their goals in sharp focus? Have you injected a bit of irony into your conflict, making your characters do things they’d never do?


Find EAST: love and sexual tension. Love provides conflict for your Conflict since love is never convenient—and neither is sexual tension.


Find WEST: Happily Ever After. Finding a happy ending for your characters is the only cliché that never gets old.


So join us on a little elementary orienteering for your writing. It’s so much better than plotting!


Instructor bios:


Fran Colley has been writing for almost thirty years (if you count that story she wrote in the 2nd grade, which she does). She founded the blogging group, Romance Writers Revenge, coercing all her friends who were great writers into banding together and sharing what they knew about the writing process. Fran has BA in English, and has taken a number of e-courses and workshops through the various chapters RWA offers. She is a member of RWA and is currently seeking representation for her manuscripts.


Terri Osburn has been reading Romance for more than twenty-five years and writing her own stories for the last five. She is a 2012 Golden Heart finalist in the Contemporary Single Title category, a PRO member of RWA, and is represented by Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates.  She has taken countless workshops and e-courses presented by Margie Lawson, Mary Buckham, Todd A. Stone, Deb Dixon and many more. Her first work of short romantic fiction was published in Woman’s World magazine in September of 2010. For the last four years she has blogged with a group of aspiring/published authors aboard the Romance Writers Revenge sailing the stormy publishing seas with little more than a wish and a whistle.



Cost for the workshop is $15 for NEORWA members, $20 for all others. You do not have to be an RWA member to take our workshops!


To register go to and use the Registration link under Online Workshops on the right sidebar menu. Once registered, you will be subscribed to the workshop loop prior to and for the duration of the class.

Upon receipt of your payment and registration form, you will receive an email confirming you have been registered for the workshop. If you do not receive a confirmation email, contact the NEORWA Workshops Coordinator before the workshop begins.

For more information, please email the workshops coordinator If you are using a web email and the link doesn’t work for you, send the email to neorwaonline at gmail dot com




Denise Alicea
the authorDenise Alicea
This blog was created by Denise in September 2008 to blog about writing, book reviews, and technology. Slowly, but surely this blog expanded to what it has become now, a central for book reviews of all kinds interviews, contests, and of course promotional venue for authors, etc

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