It is 56 degrees in Minneapolis today. And raining.
Here’s a glimpse of my gloomy backyard.
But…all is well because I’m leaving in two days for sunny Destin, Florida, for our annual Deep Thinker’s Retreat. This year, again, we have a full house, and about half of our retreaters are repeaters (say that fast five times!) Why? Because although we change up the retreat classes every year, we always offer the same essential content: Encouragement. Brainstorming. Fellowship. And, most of all, a clear path to plotting your novel.
We watch and dissect movies. We read passages from books and discuss why they work (or don’t) and we brainstorm everyone’s story from the inside-out, putting their plots on giant pieces of paper (like these).
Our goal is to give people tools to help them build brilliant books.
Our biggest tool is The Story Equation. It’s a cool technique that I developed, with the help of my writing partner, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hauck to help get the story on the page.
Randy Ingermanson, author of the Snowflake Method and Fiction for Dummies called it pure genius. And my writing heroine, Francine Rivers said she wished she’d learned this method years ago.
Yes, I’m flattered, but mostly I’m just super happy that it works. That it takes the complicated process of storycrafting and drills it down to the bones, makes the process logical and organic.
And did I mention, fun?
Frankly, although storycrafting is hard work, my favorite part about the Deep Thinker’s Retreat is the fun we have together as we bring a story to life, watch it emerge from the dark corners of our brains and onto the page.
I remember, years ago, when I was starting this writing gig, I said to myself, “Suz, if you want to make a career out of this, you need to figure out a way to write a brilliant book, every time, on deadline. A system, a plan, a technique, a process.” Now 54 books later, I use the SEQ for every single book. Meet every single deadline. And write stories that readers enjoy.
What is your process? Your method? How do you get the story on the page, meet your deadline and build a career even when life feels gloomy? Whether you use something like the SEQ, or a combination of many great techniques (e.g Randy’s Snowflake Method, which is a super way to get started!) (or James Scott Bell’s LOCK method) you need to develop something to help you write consistently excellent books.
(And it helps to get away with friends who understand this method brainstorm, too!)
So, my encouragement for you today is figure out YOUR method. Your process. Develop it, hone it, master it. Make it work for you even when the muse is tucked under a blanket, refusing to emerge.
Your story matters. Go, write something brilliant!
P.S. If you’d like to check out the SEQ method, you can pick up the book here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWXKLZV/
And, by the way we have a mini-course that teaches the SEQ—with 2 free lessons to get you started! http://novel.academy/p/theseq