Why Weak Plot Points Are Like the Bush-Gore Vote-Counting Debacle

Why Weak Plot Points Are Like the Bush-Gore Vote-Counting Debacle

This week’s video talks about the chief cause of weak plot points—and how you can make sure your story nails its crucial structural moments every time. Video Transcript: I want you to remember way back into ancient history. The year 2000. The 54th quadrennial United States presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. […]

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 […]

A Reactive Protagonist Doesn't Have to Be a Passive Protagonist! Discover the Difference

A Reactive Protagonist Doesn’t Have to Be a Passive Protagonist! Discover the Difference

One of the stickiest questions any writer is likely to face is: What’s the difference between a reactive protagonist and a passive protagonist? If you’ve been studying story structure with me, then you know I talk a lot about how your protagonist needs to be reactive in the first half of the book. But this idea […]

How the Perfect Midpoint Moves Your Protagonist From Reaction to Action

How the Perfect Midpoint Moves Your Protagonist From Reaction to Action

I have to thank the Marvel movies for a lot of things–like my Captain America shield pillow, my Iron Man socks, my Spider-Man poster, my Hulk thumb-wrestler. Ahem. Where was I? Oh, yes, talking about being a writer, not a fan-girl. One other, slightly more important thing for which I have to thank the Marvel movies […]

The Heart of Your Story: What Is It, Where Is It, and How Do You Get There?

The Heart of a Story: What Is It, Where Is It, and How Do You Get There?

Scan the Table of Contents in most writing manuals and you’ll see the familiar menu of story mechanics. All good! Setting, characters, plot points and pillars, crisis, climax and resolution—without these ingredients we probably don’t have a fully-cooked story. But one essential is almost always missing—the heart of a story. Where is the heart of […]

Want Readers to Adore Your Book? Learn How to Ace Your Climactic Moment

Want Readers to Adore Your Book? Learn How to Ace Your Climactic Moment

Your story will contain many important moments. Actually, we could say with accuracy that every moment in your story is important, since any misstep could conceivably jar the whole line of dominoes out of sync. But the moment in your story is the Climactic Moment. This moment is the reason your story is even being told in […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Structuring Your Novel and Outlining Your Novel Workbooks Are Finally Here

Finally Here! New Workbooks Make Outlining and Structuring Your Novel Easy, Intuitive, and Fun

If you’re like me, then you’ve probably read hundreds of books on how to write amazing novels. You’ve nodded your head whenever a new epiphany lit up the light bulb above your head, and you highlighted every new idea you wanted to put to work in your own books. But chances are good you also […]