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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Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 42: When Your Story Stakes Aren’t High Enough

There are two different ways you can blow your story stakes–and both of them have the ability to ruin your book. Before we dig into the pitfalls, let’s take a moment to consider just what story stakes are. What Are Story Stakes? Your character’s stake in your story is his personal investment in the conflict. It’s whatever he […]

Want to Level Up Your Fiction? Take the “Dramatic Irony” Challenge!

Want to Level Up Your Fiction? Take the “Dramatic Irony” Challenge!

There’s good fiction and there’s good fiction. There are stories that get the job done and entertain readers. And then there are stories that take everything to a new level. Naturally, we’d all like our own stories to be part of that second category! And how do we do that? One of the subtlest ways […]

3 Ways to Make Writing Your Novel Easier

3 Ways to Make Writing Your Novel Easier

Writing is hard. If you’re a writer, you don’t need me to tell you that. In the unlikely event that you’re not a writer, then all you have to do to be convinced that writing is hard is to take a quick sampling of writer humor: it’s pretty much all self-deprecating, masochistic, laugh-so-you-don’t-cry stuff. Yeah, you know what […]

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Revealed: The Secret to Creating Unexpectedly Awesome Supporting Characters

This week’s video offers an important reminder about the single most important aspect of great supporting characters—and how you can put it to work in your own stories. Video Transcript: What’s the secret to great supporting characters? Is it that they’re funny? Or they’re supportive? Or they’re wise enough to help guide the protagonist in his […]

What Every Writer Ought to Know About the Omniscient POV

What Every Writer Ought to Know About the Omniscient POV

Writers don’t only have to decide which character’s point of view the story will be told in, they also have to figure out whether to then share that character’s narrative in first-person, third-person, second-person, or (*cue ominous rumbling*) omniscient POV. The point of view (or POV) in which you tell your story’s narrative is arguably the single […]

Deadly Story Openers: How to Fix a Boring Characteristic Moment

Deadly Story Openers: How to Fix a Boring Characteristic Moment

This week’s video points out the important duties of a good characteristic moment in your book’s first chapter—and how you can write one that both hooks readers and launches a great plot. Video Transcript: There’s a ton of stuff the beginning of your story has to do and do well, but I think it’s pretty […]

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Never Confuse the Key Event and the First Plot Point in Your Book Again!

Maybe you’ve heard of the Key Event as part of story structure. Maybe you haven’t. If you haven’t, then you just might belong to the less confused of the two parties. One of the questions I get most often about the Key Event is: What the heck is it?! The first time I heard about the […]

Scared of Plot? How One Author Embraced Story Structure Without Sacrificing Creativity

Scared of Plot? How One Author Embraced Story Structure Without Sacrificing Creativity

I was never a believer in plotting. “Me?” I’d say. “I’m too right brain.” Years back, I attended Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and was one of only two writers fortunate to be assigned to Robert Stone for my one-to-one. He told me my writing was beautiful, but that it needed a story to serve. […]

The Only Thing You Need to Know About Writing Strong Female Characters

The Only Thing You Need to Know About Writing Strong Female Characters

This week’s video tells you the only true definition of strong female characters—and how you can use it to make your own heroines even more compelling and interesting. Video Transcript: An issue we hear a lot about these days is that of strong female characters. A lot of people argue that strong female characters are […]

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 41

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 41: Inferring Non-POV Characters’ Thoughts

These, days, writers have to be clever. There are so many guidelines we need to observe in order to make our plots, characters, and narratives as vibrant and powerful as possible. As this series on most common writing mistakes attests, there are so many things we try not to do in our writing. The problem […]