Story Craft 101

Trusting in the Process

Chapter Eighteen: Trusting the Process

“Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.” Michael Jordan In a lot of ways, being a writer sucks. Very few of us come from idyllic, Norman Rockwell backgrounds. Our pasts tend to take more inspiration from Jackson Pollock. Our minds and souls are scattered, prone to euphoric highs and debilitating depressions. Our craft, our muse, is like an… Read more →

The Seed

The Walls We Build

Hurting sucks. Chomping down on a cavity bites. Getting dumped by a significant other is the pits. Life has seemingly endless number of ways to cause us acute, long-standing suffering. It’s an unfortunate lesson we learn early on, and each of us spend the rest of our lives trying to protect ourselves from it. Some pain, like the tooth ache, we can hedge… Read more →

Our Inner DJs

Chapter Sixteen: Our Inner DJ’s

Anne Lamott, in her must read book on writing Bird by Bird, famously commented that two DJ’s reside in the writer’s psyche. They are considerate to each other, so they typically don’t try to talk over when the other host is on air. Lamott has aptly labeled their radio station id K-FUK Up. Use your juvenile imagination to fill in the… Read more →


Chapter Fifteen: Genre

Now that we understand the basic concepts of scenes and sequels, the question becomes, how do we implement them? There are no rules to determine how much of the book individual scenes and sequels take up. However, knowing the genre and the specific point in the novel is essential to leveraging them to their full potential. In action/adventure stories, scenes… Read more →


Chapter Fourteen: Sequels

A scene is where the action happens, where and how the story proceeds forward. However, after the setback or unexpected happens, an author gives the reader insight into the protagonist’s mindset toward the setback. In storycraft, this is called a sequel. The definition for sequel is from a latin root meaning ‘to follow,’ or put another way ‘what happens next.’ We… Read more →


Chapter Thirteen: Scenes

Once you have the overarching plot points of your story, the next task becomes placing your protagonist into the novel and writing the beats, otherwise known as the individual interactions, conflicts, and choices he or she will make throughout the rest of the journey. At this point, many writers decide to sit down at their computer and start drafting the novel… Read more →


Chapter Twelve: The Epilogue

We’ve entered the home stretch. We’ve done our job admirably. Our audience has bonded to our characters, we know the answer to the story question, and our protagonist (or every so often our antagonist) has come through the climax the victor in his/her struggle for his goal, or at least part of it. Now comes the Epilogue, defined aptly as… Read more →


Chapter Eleven: The Climax

Jim Butcher sums it up nicely. “Everything you did in your book leads up to this. Deliver on the climax or die as a writer. Simple as that.” So essentially, no pressure. Climaxes of a story are the natural conclusion, the culmination of all the work a writer has done up to this point. The story question gives the novel… Read more →