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 […]

Why You Might Be Ruining Your Story's Best Scenes

Why You Might Be Ruining Your Story’s Best Scenes

This week’s video talks about why appropriate repercussions will always be the earmark of your story’s best scenes. Video Transcript: Stories are about stuff that happens. But even more, they’re about stuff that happens because other stuff happened. In short, they’re about repercussions. Every event in your story needs to create character reactions that are […]

How to Find Your Character's Breaking Point

How to Find Your Character’s Breaking Point

Today, I’m guest posting over on Fiction University, with the post “How to Find Your Character’s Breaking Point.” Here’s an excerpt: What one moment in your story is the single most important? The moment where the hero gets the girl? The moment when he slays the bad guy? The moment when he reaches his long […]

Do You Know the Answer to Your Story's Most Dramatic Question

Do You Know the Answer to Your Story’s Most Important Question?

The dramatic question. It’s your story’s most important question.  It defines your story. On a simplified level, it is your story. But do you know what it is? The dramatic question is the central element of uncertainty that drives your story. The moment it is asked, your story begins. The moment it is answered, your […]

Make Your Character Reactions Twice as Interesting

Character reactions are just as important as character actions—if not, arguably, more important. What makes me say that? After all, character actions usually headline the story. When you look at a book cover, the character is always doing something. Wielding that sword. Kissing that dude. Running from that killer. So where are all these important […]

are your plot points too weak

Are Your Plot Points Too Weak?

If you know anything at all about story structure, you know your book’s plot points are the tent poles holding up the entire circus of your story. Without them: yawn. But here’s the good news! Almost all stories end up with plot points—whether or not their authors even know what plot points are. People just […]

the mirror moment for plotters and pantsers

The Mirror Moment: A Method for Both Plotters and Pantsers

I want to thank Katie for giving me some space here to talk about my new book, Write Your Novel From the Middle. Rather than have her come up with interview questions, I took that burden upon myself. The only problem was, when I questioned myself, I tended to go on and on. I’ve thus […]

A Matter of Timing: Positioning Your Major Plot Points Within Your Story

When writers start talking about story structure, one of our biggest brow wrinklers is timing. Even after we’ve identified the major plot points in our stories (more on that in a sec), our work still isn’t finished. Where do we position these plot points within the plot? And how precisely do these moments have to […]

Is Plot or Character More Important?

Today, I’m guest posting on Mythic Scribes with a post titled “Is Plot or Character More Important?” Here’s an excerpt: “Plot or character”–we hear it all the time, as if the two were mutually exclusive. Either your book is plot-driven or character-driven. Can’t possibly be both, right? And anytime we run afoul of an either/or conundrum, you […]