Martha Alderson's Biography
Martha Alderson, aka the Plot Whisperer, is the author of the soon-to-be released The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing (1/13) – the third installment in the Plot Whisperer Trilogy, including: The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories, companion workbook to The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master (Adams Media, a division of F + W Media). She has also written Blockbuster Plots Pure & Simple (Illusion Press) and several ebooks on plot.
As an international plot consultant for writers, Martha’s clients include best-selling authors, New York editors, and Hollywood movie directors.
She teaches plot workshops to novelists, memoirists, and screenwriters privately, at plot retreats, through Learning Annex, RWA, SCBWI, CWC chapter meetings, at writers' conferences and Writers Store where she takes writers beyond the words and into the very heart of a story.
As the founder of Blockbuster Plots for Writers and December, International Plot Writing Month better known as PlotWriMo, Martha manages the award-winning blog for writers: The Plot Whisperer which has been awarded honors as a top writing advice blog by Writers Digest 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. Her vlog, How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay has several plot series to help writers create a compelling plot for their novels, memoirs and screenplays.
As a young girl, I found "happily ever afters" boring, an unfit ending for the elaborate stories I imagined. Were those hours of daydreaming in my tree house in Northern California the begin of my writers' journey to understanding plot? Possibly, though it took years and an act of magic before I ever actually wrote one of my stories down on paper.
Language came late for me. And what could be better for a child born without language than a mother gifted in art? Nonverbal well beyond all developmental terms, I relied on my mother's favorite past time of doodling. She doodled while talking on the telephone, listening to the radio, waiting for doctor's appointments and dentist visits, during piano lessons and church choir practices. Her words, like everyone else's were mostly a jumbled mass of meaningless chatter but her pictures conveyed her message.
Today, that speechless child now dabbles in words. I paint and sketch and draw out plots and scenes and characterizations. Both when writing and reading, as the words create pictures in my mind, I am sent back to the days of sitting beside my mother listening carefully to her words as meaning unfolded beneath pen on paper, that magic she called doodling.
Years of speech therapy finally taught me to speak so that others besides just my mother could understand me. However, to unjumble the mess dyslexia made for me with expressive language, verbal and written, I had to first complete college, earn all kinds of degrees and work one-on-one with hundreds of children.
Fifteen years ago, I sold my speech, language, and learning disability clinic and, by chance, offered to organize the research my father and mother had uncovered about a famous family ancestor - Commodore Robert Field Stockton. I still remember the day Robert, or Bobby, his horse and buggy out of control racing down Stockton Street in 1809 Princeton, New Jersey, headed straight off the computer screen and into my life. The joy of that creative magic continues to thrill me today.
Having taken twelve years to truly grasp the elusive concept of plot and use it effectively in my own works of fiction, I began sharing with writers of all ages the alchemy of plot by mixing together dramatic action and compelling characters to create a meaningful plot, and how to have fun doing it.
I named this website I created nine years ago after my first plot workshop at a major writers' conference -- Blockbuster Plots. Soon after, UCSC-extension asked me to teach plot workshops through their extension program. In response to my students' request for a book, I formed my own publishing companion -- Illusion Press and published Blockbuster Plots Pure & Simple. DVDS, a CD, Blockbuster Plots Scene Tracker Kit and several ebooks followed.
My work helping writers find the plot and structure of their stories continues through my plot books, DVDs, ebooks and kit and YouTube plot series. All the Plot Tools in the Blockbuter Plots line of products and the Plot Whisperer brand present step-by-step strategies to demystify the structure of story. Whether a writer of novels, screenplays, memoirs, short stories or creative non-fiction, everyone benefits from a visual representation of the scenes and plot of his or her project.
Several years ago, I began providing plot consultations to writers all over the world and started a blog for a place to unwind and share insights. A friend suggested the title of The Plot Whisperer. The Plot Whisperer blog has been awarded one of the Best Writing Advice blogs by Writer's Digest in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Two years ago, the acquisitions editor at Adams Media (a division of F + W Media) offered me a book contract based on the blog. The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master came out last October 2011 and did so well that my editor at Adams expressed the publishers interest in "expanding the Plot Whisperer" and asked me to write a follow-up workbook under a "very aggressive deadline" -- his words. The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories came out in August of this year.
The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing , the third installment in the Plot Whisperer Trilogy, ships in December of this year.
In response to a plea from a writing friend who had successfully completed NaNoWriMo and was left wondering what to do next, I started International Plot Writing Month and run it every December. (Free)
I also have a Youtube Channel: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay with a couple of plot series - the most popular being a 27-Step Tutorial. The channel has been viewed more than 130,000 times. (Free)
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