Did Raleigh really put his cloak down for Queen Elizabeth I? Was he ever . . .

actually in North America?

For the first, probably not, for the second: Nope.

We do know he was beheaded on 29 October 1618.  Then again. What if he wasn’t?

For Writers. Plot III: Narrative Structure

The following is just a template. I’m a big believer in learning the craft, then breaking the rules. But you have to learn the craft first. There are other plot templates, but if you examine them, they all sort of fit the one in the slides below. When I wrote with Jennifer Crusie, she used four acts with three turning points. That also can fit.

My wife and I watch a lot of TV since our work and our hobby is story. One thing we’re noticing is much more experimentation with structure and time. Bending and breaking the rules. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. 

Another thing I truly believe is that there are NO RULES. I call my book on writing a Toolkit because it isn’t a hammer’s fault if you pull it out and try to use it as a saw. During my workshop, I never say “you did it wrong.” I don’t think anyone can say that. I tend to ask “Why did you do that?”

img_0398-2_1024One thing I use when I teach is show film clips as examples of each part of the structure. I can’t put those up here because of copyright issues. But you can start studying books and films and note the parts.

Something I’m a big fan of is watching a movie or series over again. The first time you’re watching to see what happened. The second time, since you know what happened, you’re watching to see how they wrote it. That’s always a fascinating experience.

Heavy is the head filled with such deep thoughts!



“It’s dark here to write, but I’ll try to write by touch. It seems like there are no chances, 10-20%”

A sailor trapped on board the sunken Russian submarine Kursk wrote those words and they were found after the submarine was raised.

Kursk, Challenger, the Last Tsar, Pearl Harbor and other catastrophes with quotes from each are in the slideshow below. They are part of Shit Doesn’t Just Happen II: The Gift of Failure. The gift is that harsh lessons, what I call blood lessons, were learned by the sacrifice of this sailor and thousands of others.

My Shit Doesn’t Just Happen books complement my Survival Guide in that we learn through experience.

As disasters seem to be occurring more frequently, we need to study what happened in the past in order to prevent and deal with future catastrophes.

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