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Give me a black moment

I’ve noticed a distinct lack of gut-wrenching black moments in several of the books (by major authors) I’ve read recently, and it’s bothering me. I hope it’s not a trend. What is the black moment you ask? It’s that all-is-lost moment in the story just before the final act begins. It’s  the absolute worst thing

The Hauge

Which screenwriting consultant is on retainer to Will Smith’s production company? Which story expert can spot your novel’s flaw in six seconds flat? Who can help you take your story to a whole new level? Michael Hauge. If you’re not familiar with his Six Stage Plot Structure, check it out here. I was lucky enough

Lightbulb moments

Writers who talk about structure often reference the concept of story beats. Like beats of music in a song, story beats are the little moments that are strung together to make a novel or screenplay. But I never quite understood how long a story beat was until I started reading STORY by Robert McKee. He’s

Getting started

It’s hard to determine a story’s turning points if you don’t know where it begins. Duh, right? But a large part of my pre-writing phase has been focused on figuring out what is back-story and what’s not. It sounds like such a simple concept, but beginning too early or too late can be the death

NaNo particles

As of November 10th, I have written 16,748 words for NaNoWriMo. After a frenzied couple of days of being behind, I’m back on track. Here are a few of the tricks that are helping me move forward and keep my internal editor napping soundly. An outline. I’ve mentioned this before, but I spent about six

Filling my toolbox

My writing education has a theme. I cannot learn and apply a new concept or technique until my brain is ready for it. I’ve read book after book and taken numerous classes on all aspects of writing. Characterization, point of view, dialog, plotting, and so on. But often, even if I see the value of