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Calling All Scrivener-Using Over Achievers!

Messy-looking red and blue engine with text: Scrivener for the "Frankenstein" Master Beat Sheet

Many of my most popular posts share tools I’ve developed to help writers. By request, here’s a Scrivener template for my Master Beat Sheet, which combines the Save the Cat Beat Sheet and my Story Engineering Beat Sheet.

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January 4, 2018

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NaNo Prep: Getting a Handle on Our Story

Orange sand in hourglass with text: Ready for NaNo? Understanding Our Story

To make NaNo work for us, we need to figure out our goals for the experience—and there’s no wrong answer. However, if our goal is to create a coherent story, we should try to understand story structure.

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October 5, 2017

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How Do Story Beats Work in Our Genre?

Apple on books with text: Deepen Your Craft with Resident Writing Coach Jami Gold (at Writers Helping Writers)

It’s time for another post as a Resident Writing Coach over at Writers Helping Writers, and this time we’re talking about how to take the major beats of a beat sheet and apply them to our story’s genre.

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September 12, 2017

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Story Structure: What’s the Purpose…for Readers?

Metal cans connected with string with text: What Does Our Story Structure Say to Readers?

Ever wonder how many writing “rules” have a reason beyond “because I said so”? Story structure exists not just because it makes our story stronger, but also because the story beats help communicate with readers–and understanding how can help us write and revise our story.

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March 9, 2017

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Story Structure: What Should We Do for Trilogies?

Three blue chairs against a wall with text: Making Trilogies Work

If we’ve thought of writing a trilogy, we might have struggled with questions about how we should structure our stories over three books. Or how we should break up the plot and character arcs. Today, let’s try to answer those questions!

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February 14, 2017

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Using Ebooks to Understand Story Structure

Roof structure with text: Ebooks: a Shortcut to Story Structure

If we’ve ever had a friend ramble or go off on tangents when describing a movie, we understand how story structure can help make stories more enjoyable. In other words, good story structure is an important element of good storytelling. Here’s how we can learn to analyze the structure of stories…

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February 11, 2016

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What Are Our Readers’ “Must Click” Topics?

Fishing lure with text: What Topics Lure Readers?

We’ve probably all come across “click bait” headlines that create a compulsion to click, but another click-worthy aspect of any content is simply the topic itself. For blog posts or books, learning what topics appeal to our readers can help us develop content.

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December 8, 2015

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Developing Our Story: From Beat Sheet to Scene List

Rebar steel ready for construction with text: Building a Scene List for Our Story

My regular readers know that I’m a pantser, but I’m naturally a planner/plotter in the rest of my life. So when a reader asked me how to build a scene list from a beat sheet, I didn’t shudder and scream in horror. Instead for my plotter-loving friends and readers, I figured I’d put together a real answer.

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October 8, 2015

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Need Help Understanding Story Structure?

View up the center of high-tension electrical tower with text: Need Help Understanding Story Structure?

Some authors are able to write coherent stories while drafting. Others put together words willy-nilly and end up with a story that doesn’t hold together. And still others plot but are just writing their chaos down in advance. For all, a strong sense of story structure would help them during planning, drafting, and/or revisions.

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September 1, 2015

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