How to write a Kickass Outline and get Hooked

Last week I attended an online writing class on story beginnings with the awesome Les Edgerton, organized by StoneHouse University, a very successful indie publisher and training center for writers created by Aaron Patterson and K.C. Neal. It was great fun and very instructive, full of straightforward tips, great examples, and interesting tales from Les’s considerableContinue reading “How to write a Kickass Outline and get Hooked”

The YES-BUT Method of Deepening The Plot

Every story is about a problem that needs to be solved, and the protagonist is the only one who can do it. That’s basically the definition of plot: the constant struggle of the character(s) to solve an intolerable problem and (re)establish order. But how do you make that problem increasingly difficult and complex enough toContinue reading “The YES-BUT Method of Deepening The Plot”


When two equal and opposite forces collide, they crash into each other with the same intensity. It’s in the books, Newton’s third law of motion. Right there, see? This rule applies to car crashes, billiard balls, writer against computer, and it applies to fiction as well. The recipe for a spectacular story climax is simple: youContinue reading “Opposition”

Halftimes in Fiction

I’ve heard so many writers complain that they hate writing middles, and have a hard time keeping the tension up and the stakes high throughout the entire story. They talk about sagging middles, saddle seats, plot valleys, and so on. They’re afraid to drop the tension in the middle. Scared of it. Terrified of theContinue reading “Halftimes in Fiction”

Feasibility Matters

We naturally follow a “what’s in it for me” law in everything we do, be it the pursuit of a hobby (fun overweighs the cost), a job (money overweighs the effort) or an investment (gain overweighs the risk). Even if we’re not aware of it, we’re always performing this comparison in our minds, and logicallyContinue reading “Feasibility Matters”