5 Reasons Story Structure Is Important (Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 1 of 12)

What’s the single most overlooked, misunderstood—and yet important—part of storytelling? If you read the post title, you already know the answer is story structure. Twelve years ago, I shared the series “Secrets of Story Structure” on this site. That series became the basis of one of my best-known writing-craft books, Structuring Your Novel. That original […]

Launch Day! Two New Books for Writers (+Win a Freewrite Alpha!)

Hooray! Today, I am so happy to be sharing with you not one but two book launches—a revised and expanded second edition of Structuring Your Novel and a brand-new “sequel” Next Level Plot Structure. (And be sure to check out the giveaway for a Freewrite Alpha at the bottom of the post.) If you want to write a […]

Everything You Need to Know About the Lie the Character Believes

Hello, everyone, and welcome! In today’s post/podcast/video, we’re going to be talking about what is very possibly the single most important element of any successful story. And that is the Lie the Character Believes. The Lie the Character Believes is a mistaken or limited perspective the character holds at the beginning of the story which […]

Juggling Life and Writing: 9 Tips for Maintaining Creative Focus

Balancing the pursuit of creative writing with the demands of daily life is a nuanced challenge. Juggling life and writing isn’t easy without strategies that can help us maintain creative focus amid life’s myriad distractions. Whether you’re dealing with the pressures of work, familial responsibilities, or the never-ending lure of digital devices, writers everywhere face […]

Scene Structure and Transitions in Big Scenes

Hello and welcome! Today’s question is from Grace Clay who asks: I would like more advice about transitions, please. In particular, transitioning out of big set pieces. The best books—well, my favorite books—tend to follow up their massive orchestral scenes with something a little more contemplative to let the audience catch their breaths, but how […]

5 Strategies for Writing the Parts You Don’t Like

For all writers, there inevitably comes a time when we encounter aspects of the craft that, for one reason or another, we just don’t like. Whether it’s meticulously constructing a setting, creating the intricacies of dialogue, or grappling with a specific writing style, we all encounter elements that trigger a sense of dislike or resistance. […]

Troubleshooting Your Story’s Ending

Hello, everyone, today we’re going to be talking about how to troubleshoot your story’s ending. Today’s post (which is a transcript of the video linked below) is in response to a couple of questions I received about endings. One is from Ayesha Ali: How about some posts about crafting endings. I just reached the end […]

Enneagram Types for Writers: Types 5-9

Welcome back to our journey through the Enneagram types for writers. Last week, we talked about how the complexities of the Enneagram provide valuable insights that can enhance self-awareness and empower your writing journey. The distinctive traits and varying gifts that define different writers’ approaches to the craft create a profound impact on the world […]

Enneagram Types for Writers: Types 1-4

The writer’s journey is a quest that transcends the mere act of stringing words together. It is a profound exploration of the self. When navigating the landscapes of our minds, personality tools such as the Enneagram can offer illuminating guidance into our unique inner terrains. Knowledge about Enneagram types for writers can help us decipher […]

How to Use Symbolic and Archetypal Settings in Your Story

Story settings serve as the backdrop, providing a tangible environment in which characters interact and events unfold. Most settings are realistic and straightforward, providing physical attributes of necessary locations in the story. But writers can raise stories to a higher level by employing symbolic and archetypal settings that go beyond mere description to act as […]