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

4 Reasons You’re Confused About Scene Structure (With Examples)

4 Reasons You’re Confused About Scene Structure (With Examples)   Scene structure is the backbone of strong narrative storytelling. Built properly, scenes effortlessly link one to another to create a chain of give and take, cause and effect, action and reaction, question and answer. The whole point of scene structure is to create an ebb … More 4 Reasons You’re Confused About Scene Structure (With Examples)

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 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. 10: Options for Decisions in a Sequel

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 10: Options for Decisions in a Sequel   Perhaps the most instinctive of all the Scene’s* building blocks is the decision. This third and final piece of the sequel grows out of the character’s dilemma and leads right into the next scene’s goal. The decision is the little cattle prod on your story’s … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 10: Options for Decisions in a Sequel

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 9: Options for Dilemmas in a Sequel

Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 9: Options for Dilemmas in a Sequel   If the first part of your sequel*—the reaction—appeals to your readers’ emotions, the second part is all about the intellect. Once your character’s first-blush emotional response to the previous scene’s disaster has passed, he will have to get down to the all-important business of thinking about … More Structuring Your Story’s Scenes, Pt. 9: Options for Dilemmas in a Sequel

Avoiding Writing? Make Procrastination Work for You

Avoiding Writing? Make Procrastination Work for You Is writing a priority on your list? If you’re a serial procrastinator, you look at that list with writing at the very top and think, “What can I do instead?” Well, it’s probably not that flagrant. It’s more like the siren call of the internet subtly pulls your … More Avoiding Writing? Make Procrastination Work for You

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

Master the Plot Points That Matter/ Five Essential Novel Plot Points

Master the Plot Points That Matter/ Five Essential Novel Plot Points The Novel Framework You write your novel building scene by scene and organizing those scenes in sequences and chapters. You create story arcs and character arcs to build throughout the story. But, if your novel lacks even one of the five major plot points, … More Master the Plot Points That Matter/ Five Essential Novel Plot Points