Last Chance to Enter the Grand Prize Drawing!

Thank you all for a great launch week for Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys to Writing an Outstanding Story. The book hit #1 in the Writing Skills category in Amazon’s Kindle Store on Sunday and has remained there all week. Just a reminder: today is the last day to enter the drawing for the three-tiered […]

Win a Manuscript Evaluation, a Kindle Fire, or a Scrivener Software Package!

The big day is here! Welcome to the official launch of Structuring Your Novel. You can purchase the book in paperback or the Kindle and Nook formats. I need your help to ensure the book has a successful launch week, so please join the party! I’m celebrating all this week, culminating in a three-tiered Grand Prize […]

Outlining: The Secret to Creating Story Structure

Today, I’m guest posting on Write to Done, with a post on “Outlining: The Secret To Creating Story Structure.” Here’s an excerpt: Creating story structure is the most important technical aspect of any story. It brings solidity and focus to a story; yet it is often overlooked and misunderstood. Novelists sometimes believe structure will sap their stories of originality. But […]

What Are Plot Points?

Today, I’m guest posting on Writing Forward, with a post called “What Are Plot Points?” Here’s an excerpt: Take moment to think of some of the most significant scenes in your favorite stories. More than likely, the scenes that pop to mind are those in which major events occur: Jane meets Mr. Rochester, the Titanic hits the iceberg, […]

How to Structure a Whammy of a Climax

The climax is what our stories are all about. We craft our beginnings and middles just so we can reach this final whammy at the end. The bad guy is defeated. The guy gets the girl. Secrets are revealed. Resolutions are made. The conflict is resolved. The story ends. In order to milk our climaxes […]

How Properly Structured Beginnings and Endings Hold Your Book Together

Perhaps the one thing that most distinguishes a book from real life is the fact that a book has a beginning and an ending. In real life, stories don’t end. Even death doesn’t end some stories. And birth isn’t so much a beginning as a continuation of the greater story of human life itself. When […]

How to Create Layers of Thematically Pertinent Conflict

Today, I’m guest posting on Storyfix, with a post on “How to Create Layers of Thematically Pertinent Conflict.” Here’s an excerpt: On the surface, conflict is a ridiculously easy concept. Have one character punch another. Or yell at him. Or even just give him the silent treatment. Easy-peasy, right? And to some extent, that’s true. As […]

How Story Structure Creates Foreshadowing

Today, I’m guest posting on The Creative Penn, with a post on “How Story Structure Creates Foreshadowing.” Here’s an excerpt: How do you explain the concept of foreshadowing? So, it’s like this thing that happens before this other thing happens to let readers know that the other thing is going to happen. Tough, isn’t it? But for […]

How Story Structure Prevents “Saggy Middle” Syndrome

Today, I’m guest posting on Writers Helping Writers with the post “How Structure Prevents ‘Saggy Middle’ Syndrome.” Here’s an excerpt: Is there a cure for the “saggy middle”? There sure is, and in a word (or two words, actually), that cure is story structure. Once you understand how to structure your story as a whole, you’ll be able to […]

Action and Reaction: The Building Blocks of Story Structure

Today, I’m guest posting on Jody Hedlund’s blog, with the post “Action and Reaction: The Building Blocks of Story Structure.” Here’s an excerpt: Sometimes writers get a little freaked out by the idea of story structure. Too complicated, too confining, too vague. This is ironic, since structure, when properly understood, actually simplifies the writing process, […]