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.

Check It Out!

What Are Pinch Points? And How Can They Make Your Book Easier to Write?

What Are Pinch Points? And How Can They Make Your Book Easier to Write?

You may have heard of these little darlings called “Pinch Points.” Of all the important structural moments in your story, they’re the most likely to be neglected. They get lost amidst all the excited chatter about their bigger, flashier brethren: the Plot Points. But Pinch Points–two of them, both occurring in the Second Act–are crucial […]

The Secret of Getting Your Writing Unstuck

The Secret of Getting Your Writing Unstuck

Whenever I get stuck writing, whether it be in the pre-writing stage or in the middle of a draft, my go-to tool for getting unstuck is the free write. Take a look at how you too can use free writing to get your writing unstuck!  What Is a Free Write? A free write is what I’d […]

1st-Person vs. 3rd-Person: Which POV Is Right for Your Book?

1st-Person POV vs. 3rd-Person POV: Which POV Is Right for Your Book?

This week’s video discusses the pros and cons of 1st-person POV vs. 3rd-person POV in order to help you make the right decision for your book. Video Transcript: Few decisions are more crucial to your story than that of point of view (or POV). This is a multi-faceted decision, involving the questions: Who’s going to […]

Your Book’s Inciting Event: It’s Not What You Think It Is

Your Book’s Inciting Event: It’s Not What You Think It Is

What the heck is the Inciting Event? That’s a question just about any writer can answer. The trouble is that sometimes we all have a different answer. Is the Inciting Event the first thing that happens in the story? Is it the moment that kicks off the plot and the conflict? Is it the First Plot […]

A Sure-Fire Shortcut to Create Unique Characters

A Sure-Fire Shortcut to Create Unique Characters

I answer a lot of questions from writers, and if I had a nickel for every email I get asking about how to write unique characters and original plots—well, I’d have a lot of nickels. The quest for unique characters is one all writers share. And granted, it’s a tricky one, because, as we all […]

3 Myths Holding You Back From Your Best Writing

3 Myths Holding You Back From Your Best Writing

The odds are, if you publish your best writing, you want people to read your work. Seems like a reasonable assumption. I mean, if we don’t care if anyone’s reading our work, then we should stick to personal journals hidden under our pillows. You can hide your work if you want to, and if you […]

Want to Know More About the Structure of Your Favorite Books and Movies? Announcing the Story Structure Database!

Want to Know More About the Structure of Your Favorite Books and Movies? Announcing the Story Structure Database!

Ready for the unveiling of the “Big Secret”? For months, I’ve been hinting at a secret project that’s been in the works just for you Wordplayers! You have all been very industrious with your guesses–everything from my opening up a moose farm, to a role for moi in the next Avengers movie, to a free year’s supply of […]

Relax! Beta Readers Aren't Scary: Here Are 3 Truths About Them

Relax! Beta Readers Aren’t Scary: Here Are 3 Truths About Them

Have you ever written a terrifying character? Nate Williams is my latest antagonist, and each time he encounters my protagonist, his entire demeanor makes my skin crawl. But when writing Nate, I wasn’t nearly as terrified of him as I was scared about what my beta readers would think. If you’ve ever sent a manuscript out […]

Find Out Why Your Awesome Protagonist Is Boring Readers to Death

Find Out Why Your Awesome Protagonist Is Boring Readers to Death

This week’s video talks about the two reasons you may not be giving a great character enough to do—and how to fix the problem to avoid boring readers. Video Transcript: Your protagonist is fabulously interesting, I have no doubt of that. You wouldn’t be writing about him if he bored you. In fact, you’re probably […]

For Writers on the Verge of Writing Spectacularly Complex Characters

For Writers on the Verge of Writing Spectacularly Complex Characters

The most ironic thing about complex characters in fiction is that the essence of what makes them so wonderfully complicated is actually incredibly simple. Complex characters are complex for one reason: dichotomy. That one word is the solution to all your character problems. Cliched stereotypes? Fixed. Dysfunctional character arcs? Done. Boring personalities? No more! For all its […]