The editing process begins with structural editing, which involves an editor giving you feedback regarding the way your story unfolds because an editor works on behalf of the reader. Since an alarming percentage of the writing population believes editors are irrelevant and unnecessary because writing is an art, let me explain why structure is important.

Writing Rules Explained: Give Your Story Structure

Video transcript Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, there should come a time when you revise your novel, and one of the first steps of revising your novel should involve giving it structure. I know writers seethe when they hear the word should, but honestly, what’s the point of perfecting your writing, or even … Read more

8 Things Causing Your Novel’s Sagging Middle

The sagging middle is a problem many writers face involving the struggle to keep the middle of the story as interesting as the beginning. This is obviously a problem because if readers aren’t interested in the middle, they’ll stop reading before getting to the end. Understanding the middle In the beginning, we introduce our protagonist and … Read more

In my last video I talked about how difficult it is to start a story from just an idea and that it's best to develop that idea into a premise before you start writing or you'll have an increased chance of getting stuck. But while a premise might tell us what our story is about, it doesn't tell us much about what's going to happen. Many writers can take the premise and run with it, but not everyone works the same. If your premise hasn't got the plot cogs turning yet, how do you start? And when you do start, where do you go?

How to Turn a Story Premise into a Plan

How to Turn a Story Premise into a Plan (Video transcript) In my last video I talked about how difficult it is to start a story from just an idea and that it’s best to develop that idea into a premise before you start writing or you’ll have an increased chance of getting stuck. But while … Read more

I often hear writers say, "I have an idea for a book, but I don't know where to start."

How to Turn an Idea into a Story

How to Turn an Idea into a Story (Video transcript) I often hear writers say, “I have an idea for a book, but I don’t know where to start.” That’s because an idea doesn’t equal a story. Ideas don’t tell us much about the story at all. Ideas often involve no characters, no conflict and … Read more

What better way to learn about storytelling than by studying other stories? What can we learn from I Am Legend?

4 Storytelling Lessons from I AM LEGEND (the movie)

SPOILERS AHEAD I like using examples when writing about storytelling techniques and found a few good ones when watching I Am Legend the other day. Movies and books aren’t the same thing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn anything about storytelling from watching a movie. Here are the lessons I Am Legend has to … Read more

What 4 main plots points should you include in your story?

The 4 Main Plot Points: What They Are and How to Use Them

What are plot points? A plot point is an event that changes the context of a story. It could be the death of a main character, a new understanding, a new weapon, a new conflict, a new stake, an increase in the threat posed by the antagonist – anything that changes the way the protagonist … Read more