Plot Brainstorming Sessions

Plot Brainstorming Sessions: From Stuck to Storyline In One Hour

Create page-turning plots that readers love, with one simple phone call

With the immense amount of fiction coming out digitally these days, it takes a compelling story to break out of the pack and get your novel the attention it deserves.  But how do you create that breakout storyline when you’re stuck, discouraged, or overwhelmed by possible choices?

In a one hour phone call, you can get the clarity you need to create strong character arcs. and a page-turning three-act plot.

How plot sessions work:

I’ll ask you about your story:  who it’s about, what it’s about, and some gut level “what story do you want to tell” questions regarding theme, scenes, and genre.

(Don’t worry — this is usually a five or ten minute block of confusion, with a big chaotic mess of half-formed possibilities.  It’s completely natural and totally expected!)

Once that’s on the table (and out of your head,) the fun begins.

By the time the session is over, you’ll know:

  • Your inciting incident — the opening catalyst
  • Your first plot point — the springboard that launches your character towards his goal
  • Your midpoint — the turning point from passive to active
  • Your third plot point — the calm before the storm, and the turning point before the third act.
  • Your “Hopeless Moment” — the climax, a.k.a. “the worst thing that can happen to your character in terms of his/her goal.
  • Your resolution — the payoff for your character’s arc, and how the story ends

If you have more than one protagonist, plot points will be developed for each. (Caps out at 3, usually 2 protagonists and an antagonist, if needed.)

During the course of our call, I’ll ask lots of questions to help you get clear about what you want to write (and why you want to write it.)  I’ll make suggestions, but always based on your choices.  Ultimately, this is always going to be your novel: you have the final say, and we’ll brainstorm until you reach writing choices you’re happy with.

Relief when you’re “stuck” on  your story.

Most of my clients feel a sense of relief when we untangle and “unstick” their storylines, helping them get a clear roadmap to where they want their novels to go.  They go back to writing feeling energized, with a new sense of excitement about their projects.

The cost.

A single plot session costs $150.

Sessions can be recorded, at the client’s request, via conference call. If you prefer Zoom, Skype or Google Meet, you’ll be responsible for recording.

All sessions are domestic U.S. phone calls, or international Skype calls. There may be internet issues, in which case you will be issued a refund.

Sessions are prepaid via Paypal.  There is a 50% cancellation fee for less than 48 hours notice.  (See the boring policy page for more details.)

Money back guarantee.

I’ve worked with a wide range of clients, from established series romance authors, to epic fantasy writers with huge casts of characters and multiple plot lines, to new writers still figuring out their first stories.

Almost all of them end our calls feeling relieved with the new clarity of their story direction, refreshed from feeling “stuck,” and energized to get back to the actual writing.

I want you to be happy with the outcome of your call.  If you’re dissatisfied with the session, let me know on the call, and I’ll refund your money immediately

How to set up a plot session.

Contact Cathy at  She’ll schedule a date for you, as well as give you contact details, and a payment link.  We use Paypal for billing.  After you’ve ordered a session, you will receive an invoice via email.  If you have any questions, feel free to email, as well!

Some Testimonials

I’ve worked with Cathy for years now, and I’m always impressed by her thoughtfulness, kindness, wisdom and ability to help me sort out my own thoughts as I work through a draft. I’ve recommended her to friend after friend mired in their own drafts because her unique perspective and feedback is so helpful.

  • Sabaa Tahir, NYT bestselling YA fantasy author of the Ember in the Ashes series

I wouldn’t want to write a book without Cathy! She is the Dumbledore of the writing world — a wizard at plotting, planning, and brainstorming who will navigate your ideas with great insight and grace. Her expert knowledge of story structure and character development has been invaluable in helping shape my convoluted notes, half-baked ideas, and odd plot tangents into the well-crafted, richly developed stories I’d been envisioning. If you need clarity, motivation, and help pushing past writing roadblocks, Cathy is the one to call.

  • Nina Lane, NYT bestselling romance author

​I can’t start a book without talking to Cathy Yardley. Seriously. When I have a story idea, something I want to explore and pitch, she’s my first port of call. We talk characters’ needs and goals. We talk story arc. We talk conflict. We talk point of view and whose story it should be. Through incisive questions and mad brainstorming – and within one hour! – she takes my chaos of ideas and themes and helps me hone it into a cohesive whole. Then I am ready to write. She is truly madly amazing.

  • Kim Taylor Blakemore, bestselling author of After Alice Fell, The Companion, and The Deception (Oct 2022)


Cathy Yardley is a wonderful human as well as brilliant sounding board for characters, plot and themes. She has such an incisive mind — talking through stories with her always helps to crystalize whatever it is I’m trying to do with the project before me. I highly recommend her to everyone who approaches me looking to grow as a writer.

  • Abigail Hing Wen, NYT bestselling author of Loveboat, Taipei

Story help is just a phone call away.

Email today. Let’s iron out that plot line and get you writing!