Watched Plotting Act One


Think of inciting event the “first domino” and the key event what locks the character into the story problem and stakes.

Refusal of the call is like the character saying why they’re not the hero of the story.


Read The Story Grid

Read The Story Grid

The Story Grid is a tool developed by editor Shawn Coyne to analyze stories and provide helpful editorial comments. It’s like a CT Scan that takes a photo of the global story and tells the editor or writer what is working, what is not, and what must be done to make what works better and fix what’s not. The Story Grid breaks down the component parts of stories to identify the problems. And finding the problems in a story is almost as difficult as the writing of the story itself (maybe even more difficult.)
The Story Grid is a tool with many applications:
1. It will tell a writer if a Story “works” or “doesn’t work.”
2. It pinpoints story problems but does not emotionally abuse the writer, revealing exactly where a Story (not the person creating the Story…the Story) has failed.
3. It will tell the writer the specific work necessary to fix that Story’s problems.
4. It is a tool to re-envision and resuscitate a seemingly irredeemable pile of paper stuck in an attic drawer.
5. It is a tool that can inspire an original creation.

Ironically, this dreadfully needed an editor — concepts were poorly explained, and the chapters were not organized in a way that I found helpful.

I did get one good takeaway from it: thinking of each part of the story in terms of inciting incident through climax. I also liked framing the crisis as a question. There are some other ideas on the verge of helpful but not quite sufficiently explained for me to use them.

The last hundred pages is a breakdown of Silence of the Lambs, which I flipped through but didn’t read because I found the movie pretty disturbing.


Watched How to Plan a Series: Arcs

Watched How To Plan And Write A Series Video #2: Character Arcs, Story Arcs, & Series Arcs from YouTube

Welcome back to Part 2 of an 8-Part series on “How To Plan & Write A Series”. In today’s video, we’re going to discuss the differences between character arcs, story arcs, and series arcs. We’ll also discuss what each element is and how it plays into an overall series.

  • Wound or “ghost” in their past –> the lie they believe about themselves –> the false self they present
  • “Mirror moment” – ‘what have I become?’ at midpoint –> transformation –> true self

Common story archetypes:

  • quest
  • overcome the monster
  • rags to riches
  • voyage and return
  • rebirth

Series arc = story arc over multiple books

Can have multiple series arcs in a series

Don’t *have* to have a series arc in an episodic series


Read The Heroine’s Journey

Read The Heroine’s Journey by Gail Carriger

Tired of the hero’s journey? Frustrated that funny, romantic, and comforting stories aren’t taken seriously? Gail Carriger presents a clear concise analysis of the heroine’s journey, how it differs from the hero’s journey, and how you can use it to improve your writing and your life.

Insightful, humorous and inspiring! She helpfully contrasts the hero’s journey with the heroine’s repeatedly through different angles and examples. This will be helpful in both SF and romance writing! Several of the stories I’m writing fit this structure nigh perfectly – unsurprising since they are romance and all about working together!

Science Fiction

Watched The Mandalorian S2E1

Watched The Mandalorian from Disney+

The Mandalorian is a TV series starring Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers, and Gina Carano. The travels of a lone bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.

Extremely Western episode, still seeming to follow a monster of the week episode style. Starting off with a betrayal the hero escapes from despite having multiple guns drawn on him, then the bar in a remote town where he’s looking for a stranger, a confrontation with no room for The Man to budge, and a standoff. The Mandalorian playing the part of a Louis Lamour hero who knows the ways of the native people (the Tusken raiders) and respects them, while everyone else is racist shitbags. A throwaway episode but entertaining enough to introduce a new season and remind us of his new quest. One earlu scene was way too Disney-fied in my opinion, soaring triumphant music, “adorable” clumsy robots, and cheesey banter disguising exposition. Hoping they resist the urge for too many of those.