Plot Holes? Resources for Repair

I’m struggling with plotting in my middle grade novel. While I’m getting better at plotting, it’s still something that doesn’t come naturally to me. I wrote a post recently about the resources that I use when plotting. If you are struggling with plotting, these resources might help you too!

Plot Holes? Resources for Repair is on the GROG blog here. 

Making Time to Write Monday: In the Time it Takes to Watch a Sitcom…

Last week, I mentioned what a difference an hour makes. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to challenge us even more—30 minutes, 15 minutes, 5 minutes.

In the time it takes to watch a sitcom with the commercials, you could be accomplishing things to realize your writing dream. Thirty minutes doesn’t sound like a lot. It’s not. Chances are, if you find time to watch a sitcom, then you can find the time to work on your writing for thirty minutes.

I’ve been reading through Julia Cameron’s FINDING WATER in recent weeks. This past week, this very topic of time came up, but she spoke about the twenty minute increment, not the thirty minute one. I still think it applies.

Cameron says, “It is rare to have a day without twenty minutes to spare in it. That twenty minutes is enough to get down one page. It is enough to get to the keyboard. It is enough to run through a monologue. Ideally, we want more than twenty minutes and we often get that, too, but I have found that twenty minutes is the minimum time we need and that is nearly always available to us.” (FINDING WATER, p. 228-229)

I’m not a big cleaner. I’d like to have an immaculate house, but it’s one of those things I gave up when I committed to writing (and had two kids). But I always strive to do a little better in this area. I found an app that divides cleaning tasks into two categories: ones that can be completed in 30 minutes or less and ones that can be completed in 5 minutes or less. The idea is that you get the cleaning done in the spare time you have. So, if it works for cleaning, I think it can work for writing.

I’m not suggesting you are going to get an entire chapter written in a small chunk of time like this, but you will get something done. I think it’s helpful to have those tasks in mind for YOU. What can YOU do in 30 minutes?


I’ve been keeping track of what I can do in thirty minutes to further my writing. Here’s the list I made:


* Make notes for a chapter revision

* Write a poem draft

* Write a character sketch

* Brainstorm plot points

* Make notes for a picture book revision

* Edit a magazine article

* Write morning pages (a la Julia Cameron)

* Draw a map of the setting


And now for a little inspiration. My daughter was working on a mixed collage piece of art. When I went to get into a hot bath the other night, she was still working on said piece. When I got out of the tub 30 minutes later, she accomplished this:


Copyright M. Atkins, 2012


Can you write something in 30 minutes? Of course! I want to know what you have on your 30 minute tasks list. (Leave me a comment so I’ll know I’m not alone.)