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. 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. 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. 4: The First Plot Point

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 4: The First Plot Point   Stories are a series of scenes. Some of those scenes are expected, some of them are even purposefully repetitious for the sake of emphasis. But some scenes change everything. These game changers are the plot points. They introduce significant elements and events that … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 4: The First Plot Point

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 2: The Hook

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 2: The Hook Readers are like fish. Smart fish. Fish who know authors are out to get them, reel them in, and capture them for the rest of their seagoing lives. But, like any self-respecting fish, readers aren’t caught easily. They aren’t about to surrender themselves to the lure of your story unless … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 2: The Hook

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

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 12: Frequently Asked Questions Once authors grasp Scene* structure, the whole approach to storytelling becomes 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 … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 12: Frequently Asked Questions

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