5X5 Storymaker – Storymaker Society
Category Archives for "5X5 Storymaker"

5 Classic Defenses for Criminal Story Neglect

1. I need to learn to write gooder, your honor.

BUSTED: If you can tell a friend your story idea, you can write your story.

There’s no workshop, class, conference or book that will do more to improve your writing than finishing a book. This isn’t going to be the book that sweeps the best-seller lists. But you’ll never get to that book if you don’t finish a few others.

Forget about spelling, grammar, or perfect plotting. You can improve all of those later. Tell the story! You’ll always be improving your craft, but no level of craft will get you to “The End.” Only writing will.

2. I don’t have a TARDIS or a maid. How can I possibly find the time to write?

BUSTED: Later is never going to come. Every author writing today has a life just as full and busy as yours. They write in the bathroom in the hotel on family vacations. They write at their kid’s hockey games. They write at night, they write on lunch breaks.

If the thing preventing you from writing a book is the myth that you’ll have more time later, you need to spend a day at a writers’ conference and ask what daily life is like for people who have finished a book.

3. So. Many. Ideas.

BUSTED: Your mama had a favorite, and so do you.

You walk into a chocolatier in Paris, and the place is filled with the most delectable delights you could ever imagine. So you’re going to leave without eating one? Or you can’t decide, so you get a variety box. You still have to eat one first. It’s not going to be the white chocolate one. Which one will it be? You’ll get to the others later. Maybe only a little later…

4. My story has already been done.

BUSTED: It’s never been told by you before.

There’s this weird phenomenon, this certain stage of writing your book where you’re near the end and you take a reading break and somehow you pick the one book out of your towering TBR pile that is EXACTLY LIKE YOURS. How will you prove you didn’t know about the book, and you’d already named your characters before reading it, and ohmygosh that line is in the last scene I wrote almost verbatim!!

Dori has an answer for you.

This happens to everyone, from newly aspiring authors to seasoned, best-selling professionals. Just keep writing.

5. The story got stuck. I had to put it out of its misery.

BUSTED: Don’t euthanize the poor thing! Get it into the emergency room for surgery!

Maybe your first story will have a limp. Shoot, it might have a missing leg! But that’s no reason to let it die a slow death from neglect. Move around the part of the plot that just won’t resolve. Type a few asterisks and leave a note that says, “something brilliant”, and write the next chapter. Come back to it later, and you may find that the problem has untangled itself!

What’s your defense?

There’s no workshop or class that will do more to improve your writing than finishing a book. Click To Tweet

The Stories That Never Get Told

You have the journals full of ideas. Worlds that came fully formed into your mind. Characters with hopes, fears, dreams, and problems. Heroes and heroines you feel like you’ve known all your life, with a story to be told. You’re compelled to find out just where those stories will take them.

Then the shower ends, and you rush off to work. A baby wakes up and it’s time to be super-mom. You rush to write down the new thought before leaping into the fray of daily life.

The stories never get told.

The characters never get the chance to overcome their enemies, or die trying. Instead, they die of neglect.

Melodramatic? Only to people who don’t understand just how real these characters are that waltz, run, or climb hand-over-fist into our minds. Not to writers.

I’ve killed many potential heroes, heroines, villains, friends, lovers, and others. 99% of the time, it’s a slow death, unplanned and unfit for a warrior. A few times it was MUCH more creative and interesting.

I have the skills to write. As a developmental editor, I’ve spent years honing the craft. I’ve journeyed together with many aspiring authors until they became published, helping them get to the heart of their stories and polishing every little clockwork piece that goes into making a memorable book. So why did it take me so long to finish my first book?

I’d go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line to bet that you have the skills to finish your first book. So why haven’t you?

It took me an age, but I finally figured out why. It’s not a lack of time. It’s not a lack of desire. Definitely not a lack of ideas!

Do you know what the secret is?


Every successful author I’ve ever been fortunate to call friend has one thing in common. They joined (and showed up to) their local chapter of Romance Writers of America; they found a meet-up group of writers (and showed up); they found a local guild or a NaNoWriMo group (and showed up).

They didn’t try to do it alone. Even introverts who can live happily in an imaginary world of their own making need the encouragement, inspiration, accountability and lessons learned that you only get from a good community.

Next time you’re at a book signing or in a twitter chat with your favorite authors, ask what kind of community they had when they were still aspiring authors. The answers will vary, but I wager you’ll never hear “none.”

There’s one more commonality of successful writers (and, no, it’s not coffee…can you believe some people prefer hot chocolate or tea?!?). They have a process. A way of approaching story planning, habits to keep them going, and possibly vodka to get past the “this is the worst book ever written” hump to the finish line. The drink of choice may vary. The presence of a process does not.

So there you have it. Commuity + Process = the foundation of Storymaker Society.

Storymaker is about helping you free the characters stuck in your mind, before they fade away. It’s about helping you find your process, and providing community to journey right along with you until you finally, triumphantly, type THE END. Period.

How about it? Are you in?

Are you ready to get your first book written, before 2018 sees what’s coming?

Here’s what you do next:

  • Sign up to receive "5 Steps to 5 Compelling Character-Driven Story Concepts." Use it to come up with (or narrow down to) your five best ideas. It's free, and within a minute of opening it you'll know if Storymaker Society is a good fit for where you're at right now in your writing journey.
  • Then, register for an Elemental Storymaker consultation, where together we'll work through the process of picking your one best idea to finish FIRST. It's the best $49 you can spend outside of a bookstore.
  • Consider applying to be a Storymaker Founder. You'll get to join me in the very first 5X5 Storymaker course, where we'll spend five weeks developing the five story elements that will keep you from getting stuck... and you'll receive special Founder pricing for all future courses and events. Only 10 seats are available for the founding class!

If you’re not ready to start getting your stories to the finish line… for shame!

Ok, I’m sure you have a good excuse. For now, could you fill out the short survey linked below so I can understand how I could help you in a way that fits into your life RIGHT NOW?