Despite some reviewers' displeasure with Lukeman's use of movies to illustrate characterization and plot, I wish that The Plot Thickens had been available not only to me when I started writing but also to my former creative writing students.
Nonetheless, several have been fortunate to publish books, freelance articles, and novels.
Lukeman's advice is sound, useful, and clear; it provides points for workshop discussion and peer-editing.
Moreover, I have no problem with Lukeman's references to movies because many of my writing students are more familiar with that genre than with classic literature, just as I am not familiar with many of their favorite novels. I introduce them to canonical literature, and they introduce me to the more contemporary. We both learn and share.
Although we do not always share common reading interests, we are nevertheless able to meet on common ground when we discuss movies.
For example, I have found it easier and quicker to discuss the lack of character development in Ghost Rider and the character arc in A Beautiful Mind, as opposed to comparing a Mickey "I write stuff that people read" Spillane novel with Moby Dick.
Or to compare the flatter characters in Crossroads (1986) with the richer characters in O Brother, Where Art Thou?--especially because many of my students have neither heard Bobby Bare's "Marie Laveau" nor read The Odyssey.
Good writing of any sort provides such frames of reference to link the reader with the writer. The Plot Thickens is not for accomplished writers; it is for those who are developing their new-found talents.