Shiny New Cover for Structuring Your Novel

This is always my favorite part of having a book released: new cover! So here’s a sneak peek at the cover of Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story. Many thanks to the fantabulous team at Damonza for their hard work and tremendous skills. Structuring Your Novel, available September 1, 2013, approaches […]

Where Should You Begin Your Story?

Where Should You Begin Your Story?

Just for fun, today I’d thought I’d give you a sneak peek of my upcoming book Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story. The book, available September 1, 2013, x-rays our notion of storycraft to get past the outer aesthetics right on down to the muscular and skeletal systems that make our books work. Once […]

Release Date for Structuring Your Novel

And we have a release date for Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story! September 1, 2013, is the big day. Mark your calendars and stay tuned. Plenty more goodies coming up between now and the launch! . .

Announcing Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story

The last few years have been quite the ride for me. Professionally, I was able to claim the title of full-time writer after Outlining Your Novel went live in 2011. It held the #1 spot in the Writing Skills category in Amazon’s Kindle Store for a full year (and remains in the Top 10 even now!). That one […]

Writing Scenes You Haven’t Seen

Compelling fiction is driven by scene. We can feel omnipotent when writing a fictional scene, wielding complete control over every detail, every action, every sensory experience. But there are limits to that power; what we include must seem real to the readers. Creating a sense of the “real” is a particular challenge for writers of historical fiction, who must stay […]

Scene Structure Exceptions: Incidents and Happenings

After our recent series about scene structure, it might seem that everything in a book must be tied down hard and fast within that framework. But what about when something in your story doesn’t seem to fit into the goal/conflict/disaster paradigm of the scene? What if something happens (and needs to happen) that doesn’t create conflict and doesn’t end […]

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 12: Frequently Asked Questions

Once authors grasp Scene* structure, their whole approach to storytelling can become clearer and more refined. At first blush, it can be a subject that takes a while to fully grasp and, as a result, can spawn all kinds of questions. But all you clever Wordplayers seem to have caught on without so much as […]

Did Agatha Christie Have a Formula for Success?

Did Agatha Christie Have a Formula for Success?

Reading Agatha Christie books at an early age inspired me to learn French. Hercule Poirot was Belgian, not French, but Christie’s books were sprinkled with enough French phrases to intrigue me. I don’t recall if Poirot ever said, “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” but it seems appropriate here. The phrase, loosely translated, means, “The more […]

Structuring Your Story's Scenes: Variations on the Sequel

Structuring Your Scenes, Pt. 11: Variations on the Sequel Scene

Sequels*, even more than scenes, offer all kinds of flexibility in scene structure. In large part, this flexibility is what can make sequels difficult to quantify in stories. Unlike the scene, sequels can be so subtle they blend right into the scenery. This can sometimes lead authors to believe sequels aren’t as important as scenes, but their flexibility […]

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 10: Options for Decisions in a Scene Sequel

Perhaps the most instinctive of all the Scene’s* building blocks is the decision. This third and final piece of the sequel grows out of the character’s dilemma and leads right into the next scene’s goal. In scene structure, the decision is the little cattle prod on your story’s backside that keeps it moving forward. Conceivably, your characters […]