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. 1: Why Should Authors Care?

  The Secrets of Story Structure   If there’s just one thing that matters to your success as a writer, it’s story structure. Story structure is what allows authors to create stories that work every single time. Story structure is what allows you to quickly diagnose and remedy plot problems. The fear that story structure … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 1: Why Should Authors Care?

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

Structuring Your Scenes, Pt. 11: Variations on the Sequel   Sequels*, even more than scenes, offer all kinds of flexibility. In large part, this flexibility is what can make sequelsdifficult 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 … More Structuring Your Scenes, Pt. 11: Variations on the Sequel

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 8: Options for Reactions in a Sequel

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 8: Options for Reactions in a Sequel   At the heart of every sequel* is the narrating character’s reaction to the preceding scene’s disaster. This is where the author gets the opportunity to dig around inside his character’s emotional and mental processes and find out what he’s really made of. The scene is about … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 8: Options for Reactions in a Sequel

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 7: The Three Building Blocks of the Sequel

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 7: The Three Building Blocks of the Sequel   The sequel*—the second half of the Scene—sometimes gets shortchanged. But it is every bit as important as the scene, since it allows characters to process the events of the scene and figure out their next move. The sequel is the reaction half of the action/reaction pairing. … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 7: The Three Building Blocks of the Sequel

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 5: Options for Disasters in a Scene

   by K.M. WEILAND |  Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 5: Options for Disasters in a Scene The disaster is the payoff at the end of the scene.* This is what readers have been waiting for—often, with a delicious sense of dread. This is the answer, at least partially, to that all-important question, “What’s gonna happen?” The … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 5: Options for Disasters in a Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 4: Options for Conflict in a Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 4: Options for Conflict in a SceneSHARE Once you’ve established your character’s scene* goal, the fun begins in earnest! Conflict is what story is all about. Without it, the character would achieve his goal in minutes, all the loose ends would instantly be tied off with a pretty red bow, and the story … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 4: Options for Conflict in a Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 3: Options for Goals in a Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 3: Options for Goals in a Scene The story as a whole and every scene* within it begins with a goal. Your character wants something—something he will have difficulty accomplishing. What he wants frames the plot on both the macro and micro levels. What he wants defines him as a person, … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 3: Options for Goals in a Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 2: The Three Building Blocks of the Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 2: The Three Building Blocks of the SceneilLike story itself, each Scene* follows a specific structure. At its heart, the arc of the Scene is the same as that of the larger story structure exhibited over the course of the book: 1. Beginning=Hook 2. Middle=Development 3. End=Climax When we look at the … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 2: The Three Building Blocks of the Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 1: Mastering the Two Different Types of Scene

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 1: Mastering the Two Different Types of Scene Okay, so it’s not really a trick. It’s a legitimate question with a legitimate, if somewhat surprising, answer. And that answer is: the scene. Yep, you heard right. The scene—that most integral, most obvious, most universal part of any story—is also the most overlooked and … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 1: Mastering the Two Different Types of Scene