Rock Your Plot, Scrivener for Dummies and a Template

by RS on August 16, 2012

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.



Great article, Rebeca. Are you familiar with GMC? Deborah Dixon has a fascinating book on Goal, Motivation, and Conflict, the basics for good plotting. After taking a plotting class (with someone else) and using GMC, I finally figured out how to plot.


I'm sure your books are teaching you great things too. Good luck with them and your novel.

Gwen Hernandez
Gwen Hernandez

Rebeca: I'm so glad to hear that you already found something useful in the book! (Which is available in paperback now too.)


Did you have your project template open in Scrivener when you zipped the file? That could be the problem. Try closing the file before zipping it again to see if that helps. Can't wait to check it out.

D D Falvo
D D Falvo

Well done, Rebeca! I downloaded everything based on your recommendation-- and it's all great stuff. :D I especially love your template for Rock Your Plot. Great Job, my Scrivener-Wizard friend. 


  1. […] (and if you are writing anything longer than 3K words, why aren’t you? ) you can grab this Rock Your Plot template which is rocking my world right […]

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