Why the Hero Must Die

SS2D4 new cover

I teach the “2-story” story. Never mind the three-act structure, the best stories can be said to consist of two stories separated by a bottomless hole. Where the hero “dies.” STORY ONE—from the opening line to the protagonist’s loss of faith in him/herself. STORY TWO—the protagonist emerges from the hole armed with the moral authority […]

“How to” Will Never Create Art

On Writing

“It’s only when a man gets to the point of a gun in his mouth that he can see the whole world inside of his head. Anything else is conjecture, conjecture and bullshit and pamphlets.” Welcome back, Charles Bukowski. The “poet laureate of L.A. low-life” doesn’t pull punches, nor should any writer, or what’s the […]

Why You Shouldn’t Worry about Thinking outside the Box

No one should worry about thinking outside the box. Because THINKING is the box! Worry about that, instead. As fiction writers, we needn’t worry personally about the existential angst that “thinking is the box!” might stir up. But we should concern ourselves with how “thinking” relates to the journeys of our characters. And it goes […]

If You Hate Story Structure

I hate story structure

I was browsing Amazon’s Kindle Store this morning. In the Story Structure Department I noticed a drama unfolding: “Writing by the rules” vs. “Organic writing.” On  one side it’s all structure and story engineering while the other camp is chanting, Don’t get it right, get it written! But hold on a minute. The traditionalists insist […]

There Will Be Nothing Left

"There will be nothing left."

“There will be nothing left.” (Spoken like a wolf about to strip the meat from the bones of a sheep.) I’m always looking for a more visceral tease into the ideas I’ve laid down in “Story Structure to Die for,” and this one perfectly describes the tragic trajectory of every good protagonist.  “There will be […]

Ouch! Melodrama. Damn.


My eBook is late.  My apologies.  I’m simplifying the thesis.  Some days it seems ridiculously simple, and on other days blindingly obtuse, so bear with me.  Meanwhile, here’s the book’s “Introduction”. A few years ago, nothing stood between me and my Hollywood career except Jack Lemmon and Eva Marie Saint. My screenplay had worked its way […]

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