The Existential Crisis in Stories

The 3rd Energetic Marker -- The Crisis / Dark Night -- is more or less a fixed moment in the Universal Story. Whether this major turning point is an existential crisis depends on the emotional intensity you intend for the story you're writing. Using the existential crisis in stories provides depth and meaning. Existential  Existentialism posits that each individual is empowered to choose the parameters of his or her existence. Existential is an adjective and, for our purposes, describes … [Read more...]

Collateral Beauty — A Plot Review

A sign of a great movie, just like that of a great book, is enough character depth, plot twists, and thematic nuances to invite you back for more. Though movie reviewers trashed it, I watched Collateral Beauty more than once... several times if truth be told. I love the message: Just be sure you notice the collateral beauty. The words bring meaning in the story after a trauma. They also bring meaning to our lives every single day. The first couple of times I rewatched the movie was to share the … [Read more...]

Nearly at the Finish Line: Bringing the Plot to The End

In mid-March, I invited you to Finish Writing Your Novel with me. Having stalled out in the middle of writing a novel back in 2013, I resurrected the manuscript. My goal: to finish what I started four years ago, both writing the novel to the end and following the prompts all the way to the end from The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts (published 1/13 by Adams Media (now an imprint of Simon & Schuster)). Your tweets and messages of progress are a testament that you, too, have brought a … [Read more...]

Blockbuster Plots by Threes Book Giveaway

In honor of the 1st Anniversary of Writing Blockbuster Plots: A Step by Step Guide to Mastering Plot, Structure, and Scene, I republish Blockbuster Plots by Threes -- my very first plot article. The original version of Writing Blockbuster Plots came from this piece. Celebrate this auspicious occasion with me! Free Book Giveaway See details below Blockbuster Plots by Threes Make explicit what you already know intuitively about the structure of movies and stories and you’ll have yourself a … [Read more...]

The Value of Finishing

Do you find yourself with lots of unfinished projects? Not stories you've cast aside and forgotten, but those ideas you've never truly let go. We all have goals we begin with great enthusiasm and promise, falter, and promise ourselves we'll finish. Creative whisperings imprisoned in our hopes and longings. Someday. One day... If you have possibilities swirling in your imagination or haunting your dreams that aren't moving forward, I invite you now explore the value of finishing. Make a … [Read more...]

Finish Writing Your Novel

2017 -- the year of finishing...  Join me. Time to finish writing your novel! With several novels and a couple of non-fiction books in the works, I plotted a plan for the year. Quickly I found that the project I moved to the top of the list was more difficult and draining that I had anticipated. Taking that as a sign and wanting to follow the energy, I've decided instead to resurrect a novel I started in 2013.  Finish Writing Your Novel One Prompt at a Time Way back when, I began … [Read more...]