How to Plot Your Novel Using Dan Harmon’s Story Circle

In this week’s video, Chris takes a look at the plotting aspect of writing a novel. Using Star Wars as an example, he explains Dan Harmon’s story circle structure, which builds on Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, and how it works to drive the plot of a story. He also shows how he applies the story circle to one of his own novels. Watch the video for more details!

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Relaunch Your Novel is Available for Preorder

A new book for authors, Relaunch Your Novel, is available for preorder from Amazon. From Chris:

The number one question I’ve gotten for the past two years is, can I resurrect a book that’s stopped selling? The answer is a resounding yes. Our backlists represent our most consistent source of income, and if you configure yours correctly you can turn it into a money generation machine.

This book is my attempt to turn you how to do exactly that. It’s the sixth, and probably final, book in the Write Faster, Write Smarter series. I hope you guys find it useful.

I’ll be doing a companion series of videos on my YouTube channel as well, and will let you guys know when they (and the book) are live!

Coming June 30th!

Every Word Counts

I was asked by Chrys Fey of the Insecure Writer’s Group to submit an article for their May Newsletter, but there was a catch. The piece had be be between 200-400 words, making it much more challenging than a 2,000 word piece. This is what I came up with. What do you guys think?

Hooking readers is both art and science. To capture their attention, distill your message to its essence. You have one sentence to evoke curiosity, and you do it by provoking questions.

  • In eight seconds I will be dead.
  • When I die, my race dies with me.
  • That perfect, effortless smile would be the end of me.

Why will the narrator be dead in eight seconds? Why will this person’s race die with them? Why will a smile be the end of the narrator?

We don’t know, but we desperately want to. Lay your sentences like bricks, each building on the last.

  • In eight seconds I will be dead. I pull the ripcord.
  • When I die, my race dies with me. I am the last.
  • That perfect, effortless smile would be the end of me. I bet it had been the end of every woman Brett had ever given it to.

Now we have a little context, but it only begs more questions. Why does this person have a parachute? Are they falling from a plane? Why is this person the last of their race? Who is Brett, and why does he have such an effect on the point of view character?

The third sentence is another brick. Lay it with care. Answer a question. Raise three more. Then lay another brick. Answer two questions. Ask three more.

  • In eight seconds I will be dead. I pull the ripcord. Nothing happens.
  • When I die, my race dies with me. I am the last. Fitting, as I was the first.
  • That perfect, effortless smile would be the end of me. I bet it had been the end of every woman Brett had ever given it to. Of course, it wasn’t the smile I was interested in.

Pull the reader forward, always craving more understanding. Then at the story’s end, with the same care you placed the first brick, place the last. Answer the big question.

Subtly whisper three more.

Hold the Line (Ganog Wars Book 2) Released on Amazon!

Hold the Line, the second book in the series Chris wrote for his 12 Weeks to a Trilogy project, has been released on Amazon! Continue the Ganog Wars story that began with Behind the Lines:

Mankind drove back the Imperium at Ganog 7, but it was a pyrrhic victory. Their fleets are shattered, and it will take months to rebuild– time they do not have.

Nolan and T’kon are sent to the Azi home world. Their orders— trick the Azi Clan into bringing the location of the Coalition shipyards to the Empress. When the Ganog fleets come, Fizgig and the Coalition fleets will be waiting in ambush.

Yet neither the Coalition, nor the Empress are aware of the true threat. The Nameless Ones have returned, and their seekers are everywhere. They will stop at nothing to unseat the Empress, and seize control of the Imperium for their dark masters.

Only the Tigris Khar, trapped on Imperalis, can save her. Caught in a web of duty and honor, the warrior must choose. If he saves his enemy, he damns himself, but if he refuses to help, then the entire galaxy will burn.

Get Hold the Line on Amazon now!

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Galactic Frontiers: A Collection of Space Opera and Military Science Fiction Stories

One of Chris’s short stories, Planetstrider, is featured in a new science fiction anthology, Galatic Frontiers. Planetstrider is the prequel to the newly released Ganog Wars series. Galactic Frontiers is a collection of space opera and military science fiction stories by 16 different authors. Check out the details below!

Sixteen talented authors. Sixteen remarkable stories. One blockbuster space opera collection.

Welcome to Galactic Frontiers, an epic anthology of space opera and military science fiction stories! From the far reaches of space to the interiors of the human soul. Journey to dystopian futures where humanity fights for survival beyond Earth against overwhelming alien forces. Travel to the galactic fringe where you either kill and get paid or die and stay broke. Experience the ethereal wonders and tragic consequences of godhood. Discover the awe of outer space and coming face to face with the unknown.

Featuring contributions ranging from bestselling authors to up and coming writers, the stories in Galactic Frontiers will exhilarate and captivate, taking you to new universes and beyond!

“Lori’s War” by CJ Carella
“Space Cadets” by HJ Lawson
“Battle Beyond Earth: Liberty” by Nick S. Thomas
“Retreat: A Pike Chronicles Short Story” by G.P. Hudson
“Daughters of Ayor” by David R. Bernstein
“Bloodbag Suppressors” by Justin Sloan
“Crash Landing” by Ken Lozito
“The Teardrop that became a Torrent” by Rachel Aukes
“The Forever Family” by J.N. Chaney
“Rift” by Amy DuBoff
“The Embrose Contract” by C.C. Ekeke
“The Trenches of Centauri Prime” by Craig Martelle
“Plenty” by Jenetta Penner
“Planetstrider” by Chris Fox
“Tombstone” by Jay Allan. First published in 2012.
“Last Survivors” by Michael G. Thomas

Get Galactic Frontiers on Amazon