Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 2: The Lie Your Character Believes

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 2: The Lie Your Character Believes   People hate change. We may sit around and wish our lives were different, but when the rubber really starts streaking the tarmac, we usually find ourselves wishing we could just hang out here in our safe and familiar haunts. Characters are no different. … More Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 2: The Lie Your Character Believes

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 1: Can You Structure Characters?

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 1: Can You Structure Characters?   What if there were a sure-fire secret to creating stunning character arcs? Would you be interested in discovering it? If you care about connecting with readers, grabbing hold of their emotions, and creating stories that will resonate with them on a level deeper than … More Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 1: Can You Structure Characters?

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 12: Your Questions Answered

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 12: Your Questions Answered Because of its fixed nature, story structure, once learned, is easy to grasp. However, it’s also a subject that inspires endless questions. A few weeks ago, while I was finishing up the last of the posts in this series, I asked those of you who follow me on … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 12: Your Questions Answered

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 11: The Resolution

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 11: The Resolution   The resolution is always a bittersweet moment. You’ve reached the end of the story. You’ve climbed the mountain, and now you can plant your flag of completion at its peak. But as the finale of all your work, this is also the finale of all the fun you’ve … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 11: The Resolution

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 10: The Climax

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 10: The Climax   And, now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for! The climax is the pièce de résistance of our gourmet meal of a novel. When we wheel out the climax and lift the serving dish’s gleaming silver lid, this is the bit that gets all the “oohs” and “aahs.” … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 10: The Climax

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 9: The Third Act

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 9: The Third Act   The third act is the moment we’ve all been waiting for—readers, writers, and characters alike. This final section of the story is the point. It’s what we’ve been building up to all this time. If the first and second acts were engaging and aesthetic labyrinths, the … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 9: The Third Act

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 8: The Second Half of the Second Act

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 8: The Second Half of the Second Act   Now that we’ve passed the midpoint, things are starting to heat up in our story. The second half of the second act is where your plot really starts popping. Your main character caps the dramatic event at the midpoint with his decision … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 8: The Second Half of the Second Act

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 7: The Midpoint

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 7: The Midpoint   Halfway through our stories, something marvelous happens. There we are, minding our own business, toiling along in the seemingly endless desert of the second act, when—whap! bang! shazam!—everything changes all over again. Legendary director Sam Peckinpah talked about how he always looked for a “centerpiece” on which to “hang” … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 7: The Midpoint

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 6: The First Half of the Second Act

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 6: The First Half of the Second Act   Every segment of a story offers its own challenges, but perhaps none leaves writers more bewildered than the second act. Beginnings and endings are tough to get right, but at least we have a checklist of things to accomplish. The middle of the … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 6: The First Half of the Second Act

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 5: Inciting Event and Key Event

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 5: Inciting Event and Key Event   The first quarter of your story hinges upon two important and irreversible moments: the inciting event and the key event. I’ve saved our discussion of inciting and key events until this late into the series because these events can take place at any number … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 5: Inciting Event and Key Event