Story Structure to Die for

The wait has been excruciating.  For me!  But finally…

STORY STRUCTURE TO DIE FOR is available as an eBook. 

There’s a link somewhere on this page, so go ahead and click it.  It’s FREE.  Free to download, free to pass on to your friends, and of course you’re more than free to tell me what you think of it.

My manifesto is short enough to skim in fifteen minutes.  I’ll be disappointed, though, if you don’t slow down, occasionally, to better understand…

  • What are a story’s most basic building blocks?  (Not what you’ve been taught.) 
  • What and where is the heart of your story?  (Writing manuals don’t even mention such a thing.)
  • What makes a hero truly heroic?  (You’ll be surprised.)

One of my advance readers, a writing coach, wants to use STORY STRUCTURE TO DIE FOR as a resource with her clients.  She also said:

“Maybe I can finally find my way into the heart of my screenplay that has eluded me for years.”

I was so glad to hear that because a writer never knows if he’s making sense.  So you can imagine my relief at hearing such feedback.  Another writer loved its “simplicity and applicability”.  He said:

“[PJ] has managed to find a way of showing us what really counts in a work of fiction: that it has two stories and a heart.”

Another author with two novels under her belt said:

“Yesterday, my clouds cleared and the sun is shining in my head.  I know exactly what to do now to make my story better.  Thank you.”

I had no idea.

I sent my little manifesto off to UCLA.  The Screenwriting Department is run by Dr. Richard Walter, who kindly responded thus:

“I’ve looked over the pages. They’re great! Breezy and engaging but at the same time profound in their insights into the nature not merely of screenwriting but narrative expression in any and all forms, formats, and media.”

Here’s my own précis of the book:

“STORY STRUCTURE TO DIE FOR recounts one writer’s near-miss in Hollywood and his journey to discovering how fiction REALLY works.”

How fiction really works

This blog is an ongoing examination of that question, so after you’ve downloaded the eBook, I encourage you to subscribe to receiving my blog by email.  Somewhere on this page there’s a link to that function, too.


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  1. Amanda says

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write and produce this book. It’s truly a wonderful gift, and anyone who reads it should consider themselves lucky indeed.

  2. Marianne Vest says

    This is a good book, PJ has put into words something both simple and elusive that really helps with plotting IMO.

  3. Yvette Carol says

    PJ, thank you for this amazing book, ‘Story Structure to Die For’. It most certainly is. It’s sheer poetry the exquisite precision with which you write. I feel like I have been given the keys to the kingdom! Thank you and thank you again!!
    Yvette Carol

  4. says

    Thank you, you kind people, for sharing these appreciations. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… a writer never knows! So it’s a relief to hear how the work is being received. Hopefully, you’ll subscribe to my blog where I expand on my ideas at least once a week. Cheers!

  5. says

    Thank you for this amazingly marvellous free-book.

    Those who can, do and those who teach have no time to do, so I am struggling to make time to write my SF epic.

    Story Structure to Die For has reinvigorated me.

    Now if only I can create another five or six hours per day…

  6. says

    David… I love it when the enthusiasm for the novel itself pushes all other items off the agenda, and before you know it you’ve found yourself with those valuable hours. Good luck!

  7. Redbear says

    Howdy P.J. : With your blog on the screen and a hard copy of your e-book close at hand I feel I’ve got the tools to reconstruct the sagging center of my story and get the same level of action and pizzazz (?) as the first chapter. Thanks for a great addition to my tool box.
    Happy trails: Redbear or Oso Colorado to my c.b. Spanish speaking pals.


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