5 Questions for Allie Pleiter

You’ll come away with a system that takes your individual style and speed and plots your way to the accomplishment of your writing goal.

-Allie Pleiter

Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and nonfiction, working on as many as four novels at a time. The highly organized but slightly untidy bestselling author of over thirty books, Allie spends her days writing, buying yarn, and finding new ways to avoid housework. Allie hails from Connecticut, moved to the Midwest to attend Northwestern University, and currently lives outside Chicago, Illinois. The “dare from a friend” to begin writing has produced a seventeen-year career with over 1.2 million books sold. In addition to writing, Allie regularly speaks on faith, the creative process, women’s issues, and her very favorite topic—time management for writers.

On October 21, Allie will teach “Project Management for Writers: Finish Your Book On Time with Less Stress” at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX. This class will introduce strategies for actually getting your writing done, not just beating yourself up when other people’s writing routines don’t work for you. We asked Allie about the books she’s learned from, challenges she’s faced in her own work, and what people will take away from the class.

What is a book that you recommend to people over and over? What makes it so compelling?

A book that has stuck with me since my first reading is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It’s a smart, inventive, totally unique tale about a magical circus and its performers and fans. Incredible characters, a great plot, and just an extraordinary voice from the author. Definitely among my top favorite novels of all time.

In your own work, what has been one challenge posed by the craft, structure, voice, etc., of a book that you’ve had to puzzle out?

I would be such a happier writer if I could plot well! My work is so character-driven that plotting never comes easily for me. It does reveal itself, a bit at a time, but I feel as if it would be so much easier if I could know it all ahead of time.I’ve made some improvements over the years, but it’s still the biggest struggle I have as a writer.

Has there been a moment of epiphany in terms of your work, when you thought, “This is it! Now I know what I’m doing?” How long did that feeling last?

Excuse me? That actually happens to people?? Why was I not informed?

What piece of advice do you find yourself giving to writers again and again?

Just do the work. Plant yourself in the seat (or in my case, at the treadmill desk) and do the work. There is no secret handshake or clever shortcut. The only way to get writing done, to get better at writing, and to build a career is to write. Simple, but most of the hardest stuff in life is, I’ve found.

What is one thing that people will take away from this class?

How to get the work done. And, done in a way that makes sense for you—not someone else. You’ll come away with a system that takes your individual style and speed and plots your way to the accomplishment of your writing goal. Fans of The Chunky Method have told me it is incredibly empowering and motivating to walk away with that system in place.

Thanks, Allie!


Click here to learn more about and register for Allie’s class.

Click here for our current class schedule.

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