Monthly Archives: December 2016

Launch your 2017 Writing Year With a Big Bang of Storycraft!

New Year’s resolutions are a good thing.

Not everybody always thinks so, but that’s on us. Because when they don’t work we have only ourselves to blame, including (in some instances) best intentions yielding to over-reaching.

Better to aim high, work hard and keep it real. You may learn that your real ceiling is a lot higher than you thought. Especially when you allow the principles of craft to guide you (versus storytelling-via-fingerpainting approach adopted by some).

Each new year presents exciting opportunities to reinvent our author-selves. To fortify and amplify our sense of story, which is the most important element of the three-way collision between craft, art and talent, all in the presence of a killer story premise.

Storyfix friend and contributor Jennifer Blanchard is holding the door open for you.

Starting Monday, January 2nd, through January 9, Jennifer — who had a killer year, writing nine books and completely reenergizing her writing life on multiple levels — is launching a FREE read and discuss series with a focus on her favorite writing book… a little ditty entitled Story EngineeringStory-Engineering-sm

I’ll let her tell you about it — click HERE for the down low. It involves a daily assigned read in preparation for a daily live Facebook interactive event (the link to which is in the linked post), culminating in a new training protocol designed to take your storytelling from “meh” to downright “awesome.”

In case you missed the memo, Story Engineering was published by Writers Digest Books in 2011, and since then has been a consistent bestseller and best-of list dweller, a book many writers credit with having a significant impact on their career. It’s considered unique – even revolutionary – in the vast oeuvre of writing books… I keep a file full of authors who have written me to that effect upon the publication of their novel.

Just this last week, word reached me (from my friend Art Holcomb) that the book was named to a list of the “27 Best Writing Books” from Signature Reads, coming in at #3.

I know. I have trouble wrapping my head around that, too. There are some major names on the list, so you could say this was one of those “well at least that happened” moments for me.

Good to begin the year with gratitude.

Jennifer always runs a terrific event. I’ll be on the thread, as well, and there may be a live call toward the end of the sequence, where you can grill the author. ☺ There will be a recording available after the fact, as well.

My own plans for a reinvigorated 2017.

As for, look for more video involvement in these posts. More deconstructions of bestsellers, too… including a closer look at The Girl On The Train later in January.

Also, I’m only a few days away form launching a new venture I’m calling The Storyfix Virtual Classroom. I’ll be creating meaty deep-dive video-based tutorials on critical aspects of story craft and process, beginning with five titles already up and available (if you’d like a peek or are simply someone who likes to be first in line) on my Vimeo VOD page. More titles will appear on a regular basis, with up to 30 or so by the end of the year.

Use the form to the left of this post to sign up for the mailing list to score discounts on new training modules as they appear.


Speaking of training… one more week to go before Art Holcomb’s incredible new six-part audio series, Two Drafts – Two Polishes, is available. It’s like taking Art to work with you every morning in the car, without having to spring for coffee. Click HERE to read more about this opportunity.


Wishing you a safe, healthy, and rewarding 2017, on the writing front as well as in your life.

Relative to this weekend… emphasis on the safe part.

Celebrate that you are a writer, and all the ways this enriches your life when you embrace it as the blessing that it is!



Filed under Storyfix Virtual Classroom

A Short Primer (Video) on Story Structure… and Why It May Not Be What You Think It Is

I had a strategic opening all whipped up that introduces some of the exciting changes I have planned for Storyfix as 2017 arrives.  

But like many things that are wide and deep, it quickly got out of hand.

So here’s the less-than-strategic version: Big changes are coming. Video-based Storyfix posts (like this one). A new series of downloadable hardcore craft training videos for serious authors (with a new website). A weekly subscription service that reinvents podcasting into something more diverse.

But first, let’s get to what the headline promises.

Story structure is way more about a sequence of story contexts than it is about hard and fast percentages and what is mistakenly perceived as formulaic narrative exposition. As this six-minute video explains.

This video is from my new training module, Story Structure Demystified, which is part of the new Storyfix Virtual Classroom, which launches in January 2017.  (See more on this below.)

(Sometimes video links don’t come through on posts distributed via email. If that’s the case here, and you’re reading this wondering where the video is… click through to the Storyfix website (HERE), where you’ll find the video inserted within the post itself.


I am days away from launching my new series of training videos, through what I am calling The Storyfix Virtual Classroom (website still under construction, but the bones are here). If you’d like to opt-in to the mailing list for these learning experiences – including a FREE initial module (a $39.99 value) and a 25% discount on all new releases thereafter – click HERE.


If you missed the introduction to Art Holcomb’s new six-part audio training series on the writing process, click HERE, or HERE. Like all things Art Holcomb, it’s time and money well spent, which is why several hundred savvy writers have already signed-on. Be one of them.


Inviting your feedback and contribution:

I am developing a new strategy to help writers move forward, as part of the Storyfix oeuvre of training assets. Your feedback on this would be appreciated (leave a comment, or email me directly at:  This something I haven’t seen done in quite this fashion.

You know what a podcast is. This will be sort of like that… only it will be delivered to your Inbox every Monday morning as a VIDEO with a rich audio narrative. Because you can receive your email on your smartphone, and can open any linked videos from there, and you can choose to play the media in your car via bluetooth. Or if you prefer, watch it on your phone, tablet or computer at your leisure.

It will literally be like a short writing workshop in your car or office. Or hey, from Subway if that’s how you’d like to spend part of your lunch hour.

I’m calling these: Morning Training Shots. They’ll be 5 to 8 minutes in length, with a laser focus on a specific aspect or application of craft, including any myth-busting required to render it more useful.

Launching in January, by the end of 2017 you’ll have as many as 50 of these installments to keep and reference as part of a library.  This information is not merely a duplication of the new Storyfix posts, which will be shorter and have a broader focus on the writing experience. Rather, these training shots are hardcore craft, pure and simple.

Subscribers will get their Morning Training Shot in their inbox every Monday before the sun rises.

These will be available on a subscription basis for $8 a month. Massive value at about two bucks per installment.  Also, for pluckers who want to get them on a one-off basis, they will also be on a dedicated Venmo OnDemand page (a growing menu of entries as the year progresses), for $5 each.

Think of today – this notice – as my focus group… what do you think?

Is this something you’d be interested in? Is it something you think would fly in the community of serious authors looking for hardcore craft information? Does the pricing seem fair and reasonable? Any other input for me?

Thanks for your time on this, I appreciate you helping to shape this strategy. Least I can do is send you the first installment for free, so email me your reactions, which I look forward to digesting.


Filed under Story Structure