A Writer Never Knows

If you risked downloading my eBook, “Story Structure to Die for”, you’re not alone.  Almost a thousand writers have e-grabbed their free copy this week.  

I’m gratified to hear back from people I don’t know, people who owe me nothing and yet have taken a moment to leave words of thanks:

“It’s truly a wonderful gift, and anyone who reads it should consider themselves lucky indeed.”

Writers never know! 

We don’t how far our words might travel; neither do we know if those words make sense; if the ideas add up.  Part of this eBook experiment has been to float this theory of structure out there to see if it sinks.  Maybe I’ve been deluding myself. 

“Thank you for this amazing book, ‘Story Structure to Die For’…it most certainly is.  I feel like I have been given the keys to the kingdom!  Thank you and thank you again!!”

“The keys to the kingdom.”  Wow.  I want to thank that commenter for putting it so poetically.  I might have said something about a key to “understanding how fiction works”.  I have to be careful not to oversell this thing.  But I welcome all the embellishments that come my way beause a writer never knows if his concepts are unlocking any doors. 

“What an encouraging, simplified method to writing a story—a good story, an award winning one!”

Those are original exc!amation marks, I swear.  I didn’t add them.  A writer never knows if his love for stories is being transmitted one heart to another.  So it’s a joy to see the excitement radiating back.   

“I am very excited.  I am lucky to have read it, and it made me think.”

A writer sits alone in his writing hut—how is he or she to know? 

I was fortunate this week to have been a guest blogger on a popular writers blog called The Write Practice.  I presented my super-simple overview to the readers of that popular blog and spent the day fielding comments.  It proved an excellent way for me to find out how I was doing. 

Readers of the blog, writers in their own right, sought advice on problems of structure with their own works-in-progress.  A week later, we’re still e-chatting.  Who would’ve thought?

A writer never knows. 

Now I know.

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  1. Yvette Carol says

    Well PJ cancel my last comment (over on The Write Practice) questioning whether I was subscribed or not. Obviously I am. Yay! Let me just say, I have been trying to temper my enthusiasm and excitement over the gift of this gem of a book, so as not to overwhelm you with the force. To put it simply this book is and will be in the future, when I look back on it I am sure, a ‘turning point’ in my life as a writer. You know how sometimes your progress and learning curve as a writer goes slow and sometimes it goes fast? Well your book ‘Story Structure to Die For’ has poured accelerant on me. Like overnight I have had a rush of insights and realizations about my WIP that I just know would have taken me years on my own. So kudos heaped upon you! Are you deluding yourself? Are you unlocking any doors? Or touching any hearts? YES. In fact I expect world domination to be next. Any more questions? Keep forging ahead and shining a light for the rest of us to find our way out of the fog :-)

  2. says

    PJ, I have to say I totally agree with Yvette. I read your book in 1 sitting, took notes like crazy, and I’m now sitting back with a dumbfounded expression on my face. Why – WHY – did I not see this simple formula for myself?!!! My brain’s now short-circuiting, neurons firing every which way :) Thank you so much for sharing your insights and giving me such a huge aha! moment.

  3. says

    Yvette… you have to imagine my surprise at hearing how well you’re taking to my little notion about “story”. I’ve been bandying this idea around for some time and never getting the kind of “ahah” reaction I’m now hearing. I spent most of the winter here in my Mazatlan home trying to make it “simple”. At one point I didn’t think I could do it. Now it’s out and it’s catching on. I’m a very happy camper indeed.

  4. Sarah says

    Informed by P.J.’s structural insights, the third draft of my novel saw my protagonist propelled into a Slough of Despond that dissolved the walls of her assumptions and sent red blood cells careening through her veins. I had no idea how insipid she had been before. I’m a convert. Use P.J.’s tough love with your characters and your fingertips will ignite the keyboard. Fire up your fiction! This souffle of a book packs a Rocky Balboa punch.

  5. Yvette Carol says

    PJ, can I humbly ask, is there any way to make your blog more user-friendly? As in the way The Write Practice is set up so that when you make a comment you can tick a box to see things that come in in response? Because I didn’t know you had ‘answered’ my comment until stumbling upon it by accident today. I think it might encourage more conversation if there could by a ‘reply’ option beneath each comment and drive the sort of traffic here that you deserve. :-)
    btw: where is Mazatlan? First time I’ve heard of it!
    Yvette Carol

  6. says

    Thanks, Yvette… I’m going to copy your comment to my webmistress back in Canada where I live for most of the year, and where I’m returning next week. Mazatlan is on the Mexican Riviera, on the mainland as far south as the tip of the Baja Peninsula.

  7. says

    PJ, thanks. I have my story structure cards set out on the floor next to me. With renewed vigour and great excitement I am now going between these, my first draft and my notes (written and internalised) from your e-book. So many gems there that I am using to strengthen the story.

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