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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

Facing the abyss

Every time I talk about my evolving writing process, I’m sure my long-time blog followers just roll their eyes and think, “Again?” Watching me over the last two years has been like the proverbial tennis match where I’m the ball bouncing between Plotting and Pantsing. My first three books—and two in there that went unfinished—were

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

Word processing

I’m starting a new manuscript. I love the feeling of having a new story rolling around in my brain. Usually, it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. And after two years of working at this, I’m starting to learn how my creative half works. It starts with the spark, whatever that is and

Chalk outline

In spite of my handy, dandy outline, I’m already revising part one of my current MS. Such a revision is exactly what I was hoping to avoid by having an outline, but in this case it had more to do with tweaking my hero, than with changing major story events. In light of this, you

Pillars of the story

I’m munching on deformed peanut butter cups and brainstorming for my next book. There are three ideas swirling in my head right now (or maybe four), but I think I’ve finally picked one and so I’m figuring out the basic plot points. Yes, I’ve said I’m a pantser, mister–or whatever you want to call it–who