Three diagrams to make your plot a page-turner

Brilliant idea!

Nail Your Novel

Nail Your Novel unexpected plot developmentsI’ve had this question from Elizabeth Lord: I have just finished your book Nail Your Novel and found it extremely helpful for the rewrite phase of my novel. You mention graphs as a way to see where plots are plodding and character arcs intertwine – do you have any examples?

What a good question! Diagrams coming up.

First, though, a bit of explanation. Readers get bored if the plot appears to be predictable – ie the characters start with a goal and proceed doggedly towards it, step by step by step. This is a linear plot and it looks dead dull, like reading the syllabus for an education course, not a story. So when the characters have a clear goal at the start, we try to introduce developments that upset expectations. They’re going on the Orient Express? Great. Make one of them miss the train. Now everyone has a new…

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Richard’s Playlist (42) – Poison by Alice Cooper

Sitting outside the local pub, Richard III tells Rose about some of the events of his life, while supping his beer and snacking on crisps. She is shocked when he reveals that someone he was close to was poisoned! Who was it? All is revealed in the book Richard Liveth Yet, available to download for Kindle here, for just £1.99.

The choice for the scene title was easy; it had to be ‘Poison’ by Alice Cooper. I love the sheer evil he manages to express in his voice.

Photo of Alice Cooper




Image credit:By Ralph Arvesen [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Richard’s Playlist (41) – Remember by Bryan Adams

Richard is fascinated by the Remembrance Sunday ceremonies and I thought this track, Remember by Bryan Adams was eminently suitable to illustrate it.


Photo of Bryan Adams


Follow Richard’s and Rose’s adventures in Richard Liveth Yet on Kindle for £1.99




Image credit: By Marco Maas (originally posted to Flickr as _MG_0631_flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons