Rock Your Plot

A Simple System for Plotting Your Novel
Length: 1 hr and 42 mins
Categories: Education & Learning
4.5 out of 5 stars (287 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Are you stuck trying to write a novel? Have you tried writing several stories, only to stall out in the middle and move on to a new project? Do you like the idea of plot outlines, but have difficulty figuring out what happens next, or what should happen where? Or are you a writer who hates outlining, preferring to write a novel organically - but still feel like your story needs more plot and structure?

Outlining, whether it's just the turning points or a comprehensive scene by scene plot outline, might help you get past your block.

Rock Your Plot: A Simple System for Plotting Your Novel teaches a clear, flexible process to help you with your:

  • Premise: Test your premise for inherent conflict and sustainability.
  • Characterization: Create strong characters with urgent goals, understandable motivation, and tons of obstacles.
  • Plot outline, turning points: Use those characters to build logical and powerful plot points and complete character arcs.
  • Plot outline, scene-by-scene: Develop a sequence of dynamic scenes that propels your reader through your story.

This audiobook goes straight to the point, putting theory in plain language, adding examples from blockbuster stories, and finishing each section with exercises designed to help you work with your characters to write a novel that excites you... and your readers.

©2012, 2013 Cathy Yardley Wilson (P)2013 Cathy Yardley Wilson

What listeners say about Rock Your Plot

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Very Helpful Outlines & Bonus Material

This is practical help, not just theory and blabber. She offers online supplemental downloads to go along with the info in the book. It is short, to the point and motivating. She narrated it herself so you get her personality and humor, but it is read at various speeds sometimes and while you can listen comfortably at 1.25X speed, some sentences are spoken very fast. Overall, I would recommend for someone interested in writing. I also recommend 'The Successful Novelist' by David Morrell. Hope this helps. Later.

9 people found this helpful

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Summarizes the work of others.

The content is good but I feel a bit put off that it is a summary of two authors' books.

1. Blake Snyder (dec'd) book -- an awesome one called "Save the Cat." it is Identical to this deceased author's beat sheet.

2. Debra Dixon's book about Goal, Motivation, and Conflict is excellent. Cathy Yardley repeated her methods verbatim. Dixon's book was copyrighted in 1996.

That was a disappointment in the author. Surprised to see it is so easy to take the brilliance of others and regurgitate it.

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Exactly What I Needed

What made the experience of listening to Rock Your Plot the most enjoyable?


Listening to a writing coach like Cathy give clear, step-by-step instructions is exactly what I needed. Her method works wonders, especially when coupled with the downloads from her website. This is THE book to get through the "quick and dirty first draft," to use her words.

After that, you can read all the other books to streamline your dialogue, emphasize your theme, all that fancy stuff. But start here. Start with ROCK YOUR PLOT.

1 person found this helpful

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Quick and easy listen to help align your plot.

Getting the bones of your story right before you begin writing Is tough. Cathy Yardley gives practical structure advice that anyone can use to build a better book. I found her discussion of goal, motive, and conflict especially helpful, as well as the questions she asks to help you make sure your dark moment is in alignment with your story goal. The book is short but I have listened to it three times now to thoroughly absorb the content. I recommend it to any writer looking to hone their craft.

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Short, sweet and to the point

I enjoyed listening to this and will listen to it a few times more as I finish my novel. Thank you for making this book a breeze to listen to. I was never bored nor was the material dry or cumbersome. The best writing advice books are those you can complete and retain, if you have trouble getting through other (dry) plot books then this might be your saving grace.

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One of favorite plotting books.

I reference this book often to keep me on track when I plot. Audio version is a must have to listen to while Walking or driving.

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This author doesn't know how to read for others.

This author doesn't know how to read for others, fading out before the end of each sentence. Not only this use to be a bad practice commited by a few beginners but it is also annoying and irritating. Skip this book. I'd like to return it.

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A Definite Winner!

I will definitely be using this book each time I outline my books from now on! It was clear, organized and the instruction and examples were easy to follow and incorporate, making my work in progress more complex and deep.

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I. Needed. This. Book!

Oh my gosh! I can't even describe how inspired I've been since I got this. I was barely into the start of the first chapter when I realized this is exactly what I needed. I've come up with endless examples of characters and "cool ideas" as Yardley mentions, but story plots have always been my Achilles heel. And nothing ever reached completion because of it.

All throughout listening to this book, I've jotted down notes and steps to take, absolutely drinking in the long-needed structure my stories have been missing. And so much has come to me just from that! I'm off to fill in the blanks in my outlines but I wanted to put this here first.

I can't thank Ms. Yardley enough for sharing her collected research.

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good reference

I really enjoyed this book and found it very helpful. I have read it a few times and took notes.

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  • Expert of the Quality
  • 07-07-14

Good book for the beginners writers.

Where does Rock Your Plot rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Somewhere between the middle and the top ones. Between 1 and 10 would be somewhere 6-7.

What did you like best about this story?

Proven method well explained, which can be useful for some authors.

What does Cathy Yardley and Michael Anthony Johnson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

By the voice intonation you can follow, where the author put more emphasis and what part of the book content is more important.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Learn to rock your plot from ZERO experience.

Any additional comments?

Good book for those, who are just starting to learn about plot and structure of the story.