Dan Wells’ Free Video Seminar on Story Structure

I’d like to thank fellow writer Kevin Hiatt for putting the link to this enjoyable and informative writing seminar in a blog comment for my book hook contest. He said, in part, “One thing that reading your blog intro brought to mind is the ‘Ice Monster Prologue’ that Dan Wells talks about when he does his 7-point system to writing a story…. I think that might work with your story since you go 4 chapters as is.. maybe a tease to get them interested and to say, “See, there’s something cool coming so be patient” and then introduce your character and setting in the way that feels most natural.”
I do have a monster in my introductory section, but it’s a sweet monster. That’s a play on words because the monster really is made of sweets my main character accidentally created.
I’m giving the credits and 7 points before the video because it moves so fast. Dan Wells is the author of I am Not a Serial Killer  and sequels you can see by clicking the picture below.
 Dan based his 2010 Story Structure seminar on The Star Trek Roll Playing Game Narrator’s Guide. Not what you expected, right? That’s what he says. The book picture links to Amazon in a separate tab, and you can copy the 7 points below at your convenience. 
Mathew Colville, Kenneth Hite, Ross A. Isaacs, Don Mappin, Christian Moore and Owen Seylor authored the guide.
7 point system:
1. Hook
2. Plot Turn 1
3. Pinch 1
4. Midpoint
5. Pinch 2
6. Plot Turn 2
7. Resolution
When you’re trying to remember the order later, remember they squeeze towards the middle. Picture an hour glass with two tight spots instead of one. Then put a hook shape hole on top. You fall in the hourglass and get pinched, have a short rest in the small middle bulge, get pinched again, and fall towards the resolution at the bottom. The hourglass should turn over to release you just in time. 
Have you ever read a book that didn’t resolve? I read The Hunt, a new release by Andrew Fukada, and declined to review because it didn’t have a resolution. It just stopped. Being a series, I didn’t expect a complete resolution, but I did expect some attempt to resolve the last revelation. It would have taken two or three paragraphs more for the main character to try to put past events into perspective regarding that revelation and then set some goals to solve the remaining problems. Instead, the author chose not to turn over the hourglass, killing me off as a reader for the next book.
Don’t make the same mistake. As the Hulk says, “You won’t like me when I’m angry.” Kidding. I could have reviewed the book and blasted it but I didn’t. Other readers didn’t have the same issues I did with believability either. I thought the author went too far with all the things humans had to do to hide amongst the vampires, so far that it couldn’t be done for the length of time the main character did it. I also didn’t like the violence and gore. But if you’re interested, you can decide for yourself.
Now on with the shows!

I hope you enjoyed the seminar. Please tell me what you think. Then take a look at my last post if you want a chance at a whole box of books & chocolate for my 700 follower contest. Oh, if you decide to buy anything from Amazon, please click my Amazon Store tab at the top of my blog so I can earn a percentage of sales to fund my giveaways. I carry the entire book and electronics departments, excluding adult only materials, so if you don’t see what you want, please ask and I’ll add it. Thanks!

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. Good post. I had the wonderful opportunity to hearing about the 7-Point structure from him at LDStoryMakers12. He does a good job of teaching it.

  2. Great post, very informative, I’ve never heard of the 7-point structure before but it makes perfect sense!
    I’m in the US (for the priority box giveaway)

  3. Finally had time to watch these videos, well worth it. Thanks for posting these. I will definitely bookmark and refer to again.

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