plotting advice for authors

Stop sabotaging your storyline and perfect your plot today. 

Are you tired of struggling with plot threads that feel more complicated than a trigonometry textbook? 

Does your plot leave beta readers confused? Perhaps you have the opposite problem and your narration has the excitement of a grocery list. Crafting a plot can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right guidance and support, you can create enthralling stories that keep readers spellbound from beginning to end.

how to plot a book

Authors unknowingly hinder their plots for several reasons:

Lack of experience: Writing a novel is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. Many writers aren’t aware of their plotting mistakes until after spending hundreds of dollars on an editor.

Rushing the writing process: Writers may feel pressured to finish their manuscript quickly, especially if they are on a deadline. This can result in hasty plot decisions. 

Lack of planning: Some authors start writing without a clear outline, or they change their minds midway through the story. This can lead to a plot that wanders or lacks direction.

Focusing on style over substance: While style and voice are important, they shouldn’t come at the expense of plot. Writers who focus too much on style may neglect other important elements of their work.

book blurb tips

Making mistakes is a natural part of the writing process. The key is to recognize these mistakes and fix them during the editing stage.

What if you could . . .

☑️ Learn what plotting pitfalls to avoid in developing your story?

☑️ Gain insights from an author and editor with over 30 years of industry experience?

☑️ Strike the fine balance between predictability and believability when crafting your plot?


Plotting tips for novelists
plotting for writing a book
how to plot a novel

Introducing Perfect Your Plot: Common Story Development Mistakes and How to Overcome Them, a recorded workshop designed to help you craft compelling plots that leave your readers wanting more. 

Whether you’re a seasoned author or just starting out, this course will equip you with the skills to avoid common plotting mistakes and elevate your writing.

As an author and freelance developmental editor, I know what it takes to create stories that captivate and engage readers. I’ve  seen firsthand the mistakes that can derail a plot and alienate your audience. I’m here to help you avoid those pitfalls and create stories that leave a lasting impact.

Here’s a sneak peek of the lessons.

🖊️ Lesson 1 – Everyone Makes Mistakes . . . Right? We’ll explore how your characters can sometimes lead you astray despite your best intentions.

🖊️ Lesson 2 – Maybe No One Will Notice . . .  Discover the dangers of skimping on research, what subjects are overlooked the most, and how the results can ruin your book.

🖊️ Lesson 3 – Glossing Only Looks Good On Lips 👄 We’ll tackle how leaving out important details makes your story in desperate need of a makeover.

🖊️ Lesson 4 – Hey, That’s Not Fair! You’ll delve into what it means to play fair with readers and how breaking their trust can be disastrous.

🖊️ Lesson 5 – Wait A Minute . . . What? Explore the fine balance of avoiding predictability while keeping your story believable.

🖊️ Lesson 6 – But It Really Happened That Way. Is your stubbornness hurting your novel? Find out in this lesson.

🖊️ Lesson 7 – Recap And Final Thoughts.  Use the downloadable tools to assess your plot for weaknesses.

By the end of the course, you’ll have a solid understanding of what plot weaknesses to watch out for in your manuscript and how to avoid them so you can write stories that immerse your audience.

plotting tips for writers

Here is what’s waiting for you inside of the classroom.

☑️ 7 video lessons with closed captions, featuring practical examples and insights inspired by actual editorial letters

☑️ Cheat sheet recap so that you can check for plot holes in every manuscript you write

☑️ Actionable worksheet that guides you through evaluating your story for plot flaws     

Hello! I’m Stacy.

Stacy Juba

I help fiction and creative nonfiction writers of all levels who want to simplify the writing and editing process so they can save time and money. I do this through my online courses for writers and freelance developmental editing service.

I’m also a mom of two and have more than 700 books on my Kindle, an obsession with the TV show Supernatural, an addiction to doing the daily Wordle, and a bizarre fascination with office supplies and planners.

I created Perfect Your Plot because so many of the manuscripts I edit have plot holes, and most mistakes fall into specific categories. My goal with this workshop is to point out these areas so you can view your storyline through an editor’s eyes.

Follow my simple 3-step framework to identify plot holes

Watch the videos.

Get an overview of the most common plotting mistakes in 7 short videos filled with examples.

Review the cheat sheets.

Refer to the PDF recap as you read through your manuscript pages, hunting for plot weaknesses. 

Fill out the worksheet.

As you review your story for each type of flaw, use the worksheet to make notes on what needs revising.

Testimonials for my courses

writer workshops


“I learned more than expected in such a short period of time. I found the material easy to comprehend and helpful in ways I wasn’t expecting. It has left me eager to go through my current WIP and fix a few issues that were pointed out. Will definitely be recommending this mini-course.” Maegan Fielder




The emotions cheat sheet will be a valuable resource in my edit of this novel and especially in the second that is in progress. The section on how to use the cheat sheets is a valuable resource in and of itself. Of course the actual sheets on each emotion are priceless. They went into areas that I had never considered when I wrote my first novel.” Daryle Lefler


writing course recommendations

Will keep my imagination flowing.

“Having the toolkit at my disposal will give me material to reference back to and keep my imagination flowing. It will be a huge relief to not stop my writing process to ponder over how to describe nonverbal communication. I look forward to adding my own notes to the new binder I’ve just added to my shelf.” M.F. Adele



“The completeness of the attachment file is staggering. There’s something for every emotion!” J.T. Rath


Useful tool!

“Now that I am at the editing phase, I will be looking to replace my ‘telling’ with ‘showing’, thanks to this course and Cheat Sheets. Thank you for putting together such a useful tool to add to my toolkit!” Bobbie Carlton-Hess


Keeps your writing fresh and unique

“I appreciate the organized emotion lists. These definitely make writing faster and more engaging. It’s easy to get lazy with writing, especially when an idea is desperately trying to get out with lightning speed. This tool keeps your writing fresh and unique.” USA Today Bestselling Author Amy Proebstel

book blurb tips

Are you ready to fix those plot problems? Enroll today for only:

book editing course

You're protected by the Shortcuts for Writers No-Hassle Guarantee.

Perfect Your Plot comes with a 100% money-back guarantee, so your purchase is risk-free. There’s a good reason my clients and students call me generous, professional, enthusiastic, and insightful. I put tons of time and effort into creating my courses and stand behind everything I teach.

I’ve had a passion for writing and reading my whole life, and I love working with kindred spirits who have stories to tell. I want to help you tell the stories burning inside you and get you closer to your goals. I truly believe the Perfect Your Plot is an incredibly useful tool, and I guarantee it is a high-quality resource.

Ask for a refund within 7 days if you don’t think the course is everything I promised, let us know why it didn’t meet your expectations, and we will grant your request. Please note this refund policy does not cover a change of mind. If you request a refund, we will ask you for feedback on how the course didn’t meet your expectations, so we can improve our marketing messaging in the future.

Have a question before ordering? Let me help.

Q. My book isn't finished yet. Should I wait to get the course till later?

A. It’s never too early to learn what plotting mistakes to avoid. Whether you’ve just started writing your book, are thinking about writing one, or have a completed draft, my course will help you improve your plotting skills. Also, I’m not sure how long this product will be available at this price, so it is a good time to buy.

Q. What will happen once I click the buy button?

A. Purchases will be made through the Shortcuts for Writers Thrivecart Learn platform. You will receive two emails: an invoice and a message directing you to set up a password. Then you will be granted access to the classroom where you will find the lessons, videos, and downloadable high quality PDF files. 

Q. How is this different from other courses and books on the market?

A. This isn’t a course on plotting methods. There are plenty of books that can teach you about those. My course is designed to help you strengthen your plot, not build it. The course points out the main plotting flaws that editors see and gives lots of examples so that you can avoid these issues in your manuscript. I gained these insights from my years of working as a freelance developmental editor and evaluating novels in a wide range of genres including mystery, suspense, romance, fantasy, science fiction, historical, and more. 

Q. Can I share this course with my writer friends or clients?

A. You’re welcome to share a link where they can buy the course. You can even join the affiliate program and get a commission on sales. However, you may not share your purchase or distribute copies of the Perfect Your Plot content with anyone else who has not yet purchased it. You can read the full Terms & Conditions here.

By downloading, printing, or otherwise using our products or content for personal use, you in no way assume any ownership rights of the content—it is still company property. Any reproduction or unauthorized use of any materials found in the program or content shall constitute infringement.

Join Perfect Your Plot today and discover the power of well-developed plotlines. 

plotting advice for authors

Unlock instant access to:

☑️ 7 video lessons with closed captions, featuring practical examples and insights inspired by actual editorial letters

☑️ Cheat sheet recap so that you can check for plot holes in every manuscript you write

☑️ Actionable worksheet that guides you through evaluating your story for plot flaws     

book blurb tips

Don’t let plot mistakes hold you back. Join Perfect Your Plot: Common Story Development Mistakes and How to Overcome Them and learn how to write novels that leave a lasting impression.

Disclaimer: Shortcuts for Writers doesn’t promise any specific results as a result of purchasing this training (eg – you have to put in the work) and any results, testimonials, or figures quoted on this page are not intended to imply guaranteed financial gains. I present testimonials and insights about other people’s experiences with my program for purposes of illustration only. They are not intended to represent or guarantee that current or future clients will achieve the same or similar results; rather, these testimonials represent what is possible for illustrative purposes only.

Privacy Policy: We will occasionally track your web activity on pages owned by Shortcuts for Writers and we will occasionally send you emails related to the course material. In all circumstances, your private data is kept confidential and you can unsubscribe from our emails at any time (except for transactional emails necessary to fulfill our contractual duties).

Terms & Conditions: You have 7 days starting the day after payment is received to preview the course material before your refund period expires. If you request a refund after the 7-day period, your request will be denied. Please read the full terms and conditions for this course here.


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