The Complete Guide to Interior Monologue

From: Interior monologue is the fancy literary term for a character’s thoughts in a novel. In real life, the stream of thoughts we all have running through our heads at any given moment is more often called internal monologue, though the two terms mean precisely the same thing. While we’re dealing with definitions, a couple of closely-related literary terms are… Stream of Consciousness. This is where an entire novel, or at least large chunks… Read More

Where Story Begins – Premise, by Michael Tabb

From: THE CONCEPT OF PREMISE In the beginning, there was darkness. A void. Most writers spend an endless amount of time staring at a blank page, waiting for ideas to come to them. There’s this great line from the movie Real Genius, “You can’t dictate innovation.” Yet that’s how most writers work. They wait for an idea/concept to dawn on them, or they go looking for it like a set of… Read More

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 3: The First Act, by K. M. Weiland

From: Once you’ve hooked the reader, your next task is to put your early chapters to work introducing your characters, settings, and stakes. The first 20-25% of the book comprises your setup. At first glance, this can seem like a tremendous chunk of story to devote to introductions, but if you expect readers to stick with you throughout the story, you first have to give them a reason to care. And this… Read More

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 2: The Hook, by K. M. Weiland

From: Readers are like fish. Smart fish. Fish who know authors are out to get them, reel them in, and capture them for the rest of their seagoing lives. But, like any self-respecting fish, readers aren’t caught easily. They aren’t about to surrender themselves to the lure of your story unless you’ve presented them with an irresistible hook. Our discussion of story structure very naturally begins at the beginning—and the beginning… Read More

How Parallel Narrative Multiplies Your Story Choices, by Linda Aronson

From: Very often things like flashbacks, flash forwards, non-linear narratives, multiple plots and ensemble casts are regarded as optional gimmicks stuck into the conventional three act structure. They’re not. Each of the six types I’ve isolated and their subcategories provides a different take on the same story material.  Suddenly, one idea for a film can give you a multitude of story choices. What do I mean? More than six ways to… Read More

The Secrets of Story Structure, Pt. 1: Why Should Authors Care? by K.M. Weiland

From: What’s the single most overlooked, misunderstood—and yet most important—part of storytelling? If you cheated and looked at the title, you already know the answer is structure. Most uninitiated writers have two different reactions to the idea of story structure. Either they think it’s great, but too mystical and lofty to be understood by common mortals, or they think it’s formulaic hooey that will sap the art right out of their… Read More

Worksheet: Story Structure: The Seven-Point System, by Dan Wells

Adapted from Dan Wells on Story Structure The Seven-Point System: 1. Hook   2. Plot Turn 1   3. Pinch 1   4. Midpoint   5. Pinch 2   6. Plot Turn 2   7. Resolution     Key: Start at the end.