Announcing the Story Structure Database!


Want to know more about the structure of your favorite books and movies? Search the database to find exactly what you're looking for.

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Craft Dynamic Antagonists Your Readers Will Love—in Just 3 Steps!

Recently, I stumbled across a discovery: there’s nothing like dynamic antagonists to get readers hooked to a story. Sure, talking about evil characters can seem a little old-fashioned in today’s literature, which loves flawed protagonists and antagonists with a heart. And there are certainly a few good novels without a real villain. But if your story is […]

If You Don’t Fix This Mistake in Your Story's Climax, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

If You Don’t Fix This Mistake in Your Story’s Climax, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

The Climax has got to be the best part of your story, right? It’s the maraschino cherry on top of the sundae (that is, of course, if you’re the kind who saves the cherry to eat last). Anyway—the point is you want your story’s Climax to be gripping. You want it to be suspenseful. You […]

How the Perfect Midpoint Moves Your Protagonist From Reaction to Action

How the Perfect Midpoint Moves Your Protagonist From Reaction to Action

I have to thank the Marvel movies for a lot of things–like my Captain America shield pillow, my Iron Man socks, my Spider-Man poster, my Hulk thumb-wrestler. Ahem. Where was I? Oh, yes, talking about being a writer, not a fan-girl. One other, slightly more important thing for which I have to thank the Marvel movies […]

The Heart of Your Story: What Is It, Where Is It, and How Do You Get There?

The Heart of a Story: What Is It, Where Is It, and How Do You Get There?

Scan the Table of Contents in most writing manuals and you’ll see the familiar menu of story mechanics. All good! Setting, characters, plot points and pillars, crisis, climax and resolution—without these ingredients we probably don’t have a fully-cooked story. But one essential is almost always missing—the heart of a story. Where is the heart of […]

Want an Unforgettable Protagonist? Your Minor Characters Are the Secret

Want an Unforgettable Protagonist? Your Minor Characters Are the Secret

This week’s video explains that one of the reasons Deputy Barney Fife was such a great character was because of the other minor characters on the show—and how you can use your minor characters to make your protagonist even more amazing. Video Transcript: Your characters are the basic puzzle pieces in any story. You’re going […]

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 39

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 40: Unnecessary Scenes

What is a story but scenes? Put one scene after another–and you have a story! Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that. Those scenes have to hang together in a way that makes sense. They have to create a contiguous arc. Every one of those scenes needs to be integral to that arc. If a […]

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Conquering Writer’s Block Audio Book Now Available!

It’s my pleasure to announce, to all of you who have been waiting for it, that the Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration audio book is now available, narrated once again by the amazing Sonja Field. I originally released this information as an audio presentation, years ago. But when I re-released it as an e-book last winter, I […]

The Lazy Technique That Can Cripple Any Suspenseful Chapter Ending

The Lazy Technique That Can Cripple Suspenseful Chapter Endings

This week’s video offers an example of what might seem to be a great technique for chapter endings, and then shows you why it’s lazy and how to make it fantastic instead.   Video Transcript: Do you know what’s the most dangerous part of your book? Try chapter endings. These are subliminal signals to your […]

Find Out if Your Prologue Is Destroying Your Story’s Subtext

Find Out if Your Prologue Is Destroying Your Story’s Subtext

You hear it all the time: prologues are evil. (And writers everywhere, commence howling.) Now I’ll grant that “evil” is a slight exaggeration. We might call them “dangerous” instead, except that word is pretty ironic, since one of the chief reasons a prologue is so dangerous is because it allows authors to play it waaaaay yonder […]

Learn Scrivener Fast Webinar Replay Now Available (Plus Freebies!)

Learn Scrivener Fast Webinar Replay Now Available!

Thanks to all of you who were able to attend the free Learn Scrivener Fast webinar with Joseph Michael yesterday! I hope you guys got as much out of Joseph’s awesome tips as I did. I’ve been using Scrivener for almost a year now, and I still came way with some new gems. My personal highlights: […]