Let me start with a confession: my Spanish Civil War reading came to a complete halt last month. In spite of my good intentions of getting readers interested in the subject, I was sidetracked with a big work project.

I was assigned six articles to write for a trade show we’re attending later this month, and as part of a sponsorship arrangement that we have with the show’s management group, another writer and I had to write about several artisan groups that will be exhibiting their products. The writing wasn’t difficult, but the research was time-consuming.

During the off-hours that I wasn’t writing, I was attempting to work through Cathy Yardley’s book, Rock Your Plot: A Simple System for Plotting Your Novel (Rock Your Writing). What I love about this book is that Cathy read through several books on plotting and condensed everything she learned into a very user-friendly guide. Her examples are generic, which I found useful because sometimes I’m intimidated by the complicated examples used from well known authors. I want to learn the very basics and once I have an understanding of the process, then get into the breakdown of how an experienced writer develops his own plotting decisions.

Now that I have the next two weeks of vacation I can start again, but this time I’ll be using her workbook to guide me through my plotting issues. To be accurate, I won’t be using her book. Instead, I’ll be working from a template I created in Scrivener that’s based on her workbook. What gave me the idea to do this was Gwen Hernandez’s new book, Scrivener For Dummies.

Last year I took Gwen’s online class and kept all my notes; truth be told, I wished that there had been a reference book that went with the class so that I could always keep it on hand. It turns out that I wasn’t the only one who wanted a good instructional book. The good folks at Wiley approached Gwen, and, in what seems little time, they put together a Scrivener for Dummies book. I received it last night, and just like the class, it is worth every penny.

Because I am a dork and like to play around with software, I happened to read the chapter on creating customized project templates, and I thought that it would be a good exercise to create a template–one I can use for every writing project, Before I embarked on this, I download other writer’s templates  to see how they approached the outlining process. I liked Larry Brooks’ Beat Sheet Template, as well as the Hero’s Journey, but I wanted to create my own, and here it is, based on Cathy’s workbook: Rock Your Plot. Feel free to download it, and let me know if it’s helpful. I recommend that you purchase the book, it’s available on Amazon as a Kindle publication. If you have questions about anything related to Scrivener, get Gwen’s book or leave a comment.

Addendum: It’s been brought to my attention that when the Rock Your Plot link is downloaded you get the following message: 

Somehow I managed to zip it while Scrivener was still open. For you to use it, please hit “Make a Copy” and you’ll be good to go. In the meantime, I’ll figure out how to zip and share without getting any funky messages. Perhaps Scrivener guru Gwen Hernandez might know.