Seems kind of funny, doesnít it? Who wouldíve known that a fantasy role-playing game would teach me how to plot and write stories? Not me! More importantly, I realized that there was a freedom in knowing what I had instinctively started doing after I wrote my fourth story. When I mentioned my hybrid status to other published authors, I was surprised to learn how many other authors also learned to plot because of role-playing games. For me, Iíve become a better writer because Iíve become a hybridóa plontster.

LOL! Yet, the concepts I learned from not only playing D&D as character player, but also in being the DM (dungeon master) who created and ran the modules, helped me to find a way to not only plot my books, but do so in a manner that doesnít take the fun out of writing from ďOnce upon a timeĒ to ďThe End.Ē

When it comes to workshops, Iím of the school of reason that says, ďTake what you can use and toss what you canít.Ē Donít feel pressured that you should do exactly what I say in order to be a successful writer. Iím presenting some tools to help you become more effective in your writing, nothing more, and nothing less. I wonít even take offense if you choose not to use any of the points I present. The goal here is to give you some new ideas to boost your writing so youíre producing quality and perhaps producing faster.

I can see pantsters worldwide shaking in fear that I want to make them plot their story to death and kill their muse. I promise that isnít the case. *Crosses heart and pinky swears* I would rather walk on fire than have to plot my books to the nth degree. I have a hard enough time trying to write a synopsis for my stories, since itís nothing more than a short story version of the finished story.

When I first started writing, I wrote from beginning to the end, since Iím linearly oriented. However, my routine of how I plot to write is definitely not as linear. For the purpose of this workshop, weíre going to start at the beginningófor most people, this is a loose idea for a story and creating a character for the story. Then weíll move into how to take that idea and creating a workable framework that allows me to make changes when necessary if a character takes a path not planned. Within it all, youíll discover that these preplanned items will get your muse eager to get the story written.

So, now that Iíve set out what weíre going to learn, itís time to start at the beginning. Itís time to create our character.