Story Plotting 101

Storytelling

Your Plot Is a Fractal

A romanesco broccoli flower with fractal spiraling cones. In 2014, I was researching best practices for writing scenes when I noticed something: they looked an awful lot like the best practices for a whole novel. The concepts were the same; they’d just been given different names. I wrote an article declaring plots were … read more »
Storytelling

How to Plot a Novel Series

Harry Potter fights off a giant Basilisk at the end of book two Over the years, we’ve received many questions about how to plot multiple books. The answer is surprisingly simple: story structure is the same no matter the scale. However, reader expectations about story continuity do change a little when the story is broken into different books, … read more »
Storytelling

Filling In Your Story’s Middle

A tiny person stands in the center of a magical book. Writers often know where their stories start and end but draw a blank when it comes to all the stuff in between. And unfortunately, common plot structures like the hero’s journey aren’t as helpful as they seem. While they provide a rhythm of success and … read more »
Writing

How to Outline Your Story

Outlining can help storytellers plan their story, evaluate story structure, and save on revisions. If you’ve never outlined a story before, don’t fret; it’s easy to get started.
Storytelling

How to Turn Your Concept Into a Story

Puzzle in progress You have a flash of inspiration, but once you sit at your keyboard, that inspiration melts into a murky mess. You’re not sure where your story is going, only that it isn’t getting there. With each attempt at plotting, your excitement is whittled away. Finally … read more »
Writing

Outline a Short Story in Seven Steps

If you have lots of creative ideas and trouble organizing them, try using this framework to craft a short story. It isn’t the key to making every tale under the sun, but it should help you frame your central conflict, create a proactive character, and … read more »
Storytelling

Is It Plot?

New storytellers often have trouble telling the difference between “things happening” and “a story unfolding.” Without the ability to turn events into plots, there is no story, and audience will quickly become bored and spend their time elsewhere. Luckily, plots only need a few basic … read more »