The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 3: The First Act

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 3: The First Act   Once you’ve hooked the reader, your next task is to put your early chapters to work introducing your characters, settings, and stakes. The first 20-25% of the book comprises your setup. At first glance, this can seem like a tremendous chunk of story to devote to introductions, … More The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 3: The First Act

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. 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

How to Evoke Reader Emotions With “Surprisingness”

How to Evoke Reader Emotions With “Surprisingness”   Have you ever read a book for a second, third, even tenth time—just to experience the emotion the story evokes? Clearly the elements of the story aren’t a surprise. You know exactly what to expect. If so, you were benefiting from an author who knew how to … More How to Evoke Reader Emotions With “Surprisingness”

6 Requirements for Writing Better Character Goals

6 Requirements for Writing Better Character Goals Quick. Tell me what your characters want. Maybe you have an immediate answer. Maybe your protagonist wants to save the world, survive, or live happily ever after. While those are all legit goals that have powered hundreds of good stories, what I’m talking about is what your characters want. … More 6 Requirements for Writing Better Character Goals

Why Concept-Based Content Gets Better Search Results

Why Concept-Based Content Gets Better Search Results Ideas and concepts drive search results in today’s SEO environment. In this new search world it’s about discoverability, not links or keywords. Semantic search, like our own minds, looks for “key concepts” and not keywords. Think of it this way. A reader will skim your page to see … More Why Concept-Based Content Gets Better Search Results

Why Concept-Based Content Gets Better Search Results

Why Concept-Based Content Gets Better Search Results Ideas and concepts drive search results in today’s SEO environment. In this new search world it’s about discoverability, not links or keywords. Semantic search, like our own minds, looks for “key concepts” and not keywords. Think of it this way. A reader will skim your page to see … More Why Concept-Based Content Gets Better Search Results

Omnipotent Characters: Why Marvel Sidelined Thor, Vision, and Captain Marvel

Omnipotent Characters: Why Marvel Sidelined Thor, Vision, and Captain Marvel Warning: Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame ahead! Early on in Avengers: Infinity War, one of the film’s most powerful characters, Vision, gets stabbed in the stomach. The moment is shocking, yes, but it’s also important to the plot, effectively sidelining Vision for … More Omnipotent Characters: Why Marvel Sidelined Thor, Vision, and Captain Marvel