Monthly Archives: October 2016

Learn One of the Most Important Aspects of Storytelling Craft… from Movie Trailers

As some of you know, I contribute (every other Monday) to the well-known writing blog The Kill Zone.  In doing so, I find myself having to differentiate what I write there, versus here.

It breaks down like this: because I’ve written nearly 1000 posts here at Storyfix (and in my three writing books) that focus on the craft of storytelling, I’ve pretty much circled the wagons when it comes to coverage of the key elements and essences involved. I’ll continue to do just that, but we’re now dealing with subtleties, problem solving, process and creative thinking, all of it in context to those same core elements of craft… which consists of 12 major categories, and about 120 interacting subsets that inform them.

Over at Kill Zone, I find myself introducing and defining those core elements for a different audience (though I’ve happily discovered, there is a significant overlap). Not that they don’t get a fair share of craft over there already, they do (James Scott Bell being one of the other regulars, along with a powerhouse roster of published novelists who really know their stuff). But my approach to craft seems to be slightly new and different – and sometimes confusing – for long-time Kill Zone readers, which is, I believe, a good thing.

Hearing the same elements of craft discussed by credible sources in different ways really helps writers wrap their head around it all. Sometimes what has lingered as a fuzzy notion clarifies when presented in a different flavor of context. So far my offerings have been received warmly and enthusiastically at The Kill Zone.

I mention this because I about to send you over to The Kill Zone to read my latest post, which is another version of the same title I’ve used for this post: The Two Minute Writing Workshop Already At Your Fingertips.

If you’re struggling with – or would like a new take on – the nature, function and placement of the critical First Plot Point story milestone (which is, in my opinion, the most important moment in a story), you may really find quite illuminating.  There are four trailers from recent films embedded within the post, each of which presents the story’s First Plot Point in a way that, for some, is easier to identify and understand than it can be within the novels we read… and write.


On another note, I’m about to change things up here on Storyfix. Big time.

I’m in the development stages of creating and offering video-based training modules, some of which will end up right here, as regular posts on Storyfix.  The approach will involve a split screen showing me talking directly to you, with the other section showing bullets, text and graphics as called for. (I will continue to post narrative articles like the ones you’ve come to expect here, as well.)

The idea is to come as close to a classroom experience as possible, which all the guys in white coats who research how adults learn will tell you is orders of magnitude more effective than reading, or even listening, to a presentation.

The posts will, of course, continue to be totally free and available at any time.  

I am going to develop longer modules, however, that I will offer for sale (reasonably, I promise) here as an extension of the Storyfix bookstore – it will have its own page – containing a library of training resources that cover the entire spectrum of what you need to understand about writing a novel that works.

I’d like your initial feedback on this new idea. How does this idea strike you… and would you be interested in deeper, video-based training on the intricasies of implementing the finer points – the advanced stuff – of writing a novel that works.

Also, please offer any specific topics you’d like me to cover in this new format, as well as your notion of a fair price point for a 30- to-60 minute  video/graphics-based training experience. (There will be multiple-module comprehensive training titles, as well, at a higher price point… still less, though, than what you’d pay to learn the same stuff at a workshop or conference.)


One final note, if you will humor me…

Chasing Bliss FRONT cover final jpeg (2) My new book, Chasing Bliss (my non-fiction, non-writing-oriented side project on how to survive and nourish our primary relationships, using intimacy and transparency as the primary means of engagement) now has 11 reviews on, all of them 5-star.  And if I may, all of them pretty much raving about the book in a way that took them by surprise.

Visit the book’s website, as well: (check out the animated wave effect in the header) for an “author interview” that is itself pretty intimate and transparent.

Thanks for your input on all these fronts!



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