The three act structure has been around since Aristotle, and it’s a fairly well accepted fact that a story that doesn’t follow any one of the many versions of three-act structure is a poorly written story.

This applies to movies, plays or novels. Ya gotta have the three acts. I’m not going to belabour it too much. That’s what this page is for.

What I would like to talk about is a new way of looking at the three acts. New for me, anyway.

It’s called the “mini movie” method. The story is broken into eight (roughly) equal length movies, each with their own purpose. I know. Some of you are saying “Eight? I just got used to three and now you’re pushing eight?”

There’s still three acts. And the eight mini movies fit into that three act structure quite well.


And as always, not only does each mini movie need to have a purpose, each scene needs to have a purpose. If the scene doesn’t have a purpose, erase it. It will slow down the story and piss off your reader.

A great number of you have probably stop reading by this point. “Formulaic” you say. “Write-by-numbers”. “Not Original.”

Well, I respectfully disagree. The graphic above isn’t a story. It’s a framework for a story. It removes originality in exactly the same way blueprints remove originality from a house. (It is also a framework for character development.)

Build a house without blueprints and it’ll be a mess.

Write a story without blueprints and nobody will want to read it.

Next book you read, or movie you watch, see if you can pick out these elements. They’re there.

I’m stuck. My edit window (the one I’m currently using) is the older version. Looks like this:

I clicked something, somewhere, to get this abomination. What I used to have was this:
Can anybody tell me what I need to do to get back to the edit window I used to have?


I have dropped the price of all 8 of my ebooks to $0.99 on and, and that price will filter through to iBooks, kobo, nook, etc. over the next few days.

They’ll stay that low until November 15th.

And on November 15th I’ll have another surprise.

Please pass it on. Here’s a couple of links to my libraries:

Amazon | Smashwords

And many thanks for your continued support!

“It came to me in a dream.”

No, that’s b.s.

But this is close to what I’m looking for. If this isn’t the final cover, it’s damn close.

Target Australia(400x600)

I’m looking for a couple more Beta Readers. I’m not asking for line edits or structural analysis or anything difficult like that. All I want is someone who likes thrillers to read it and point out any internal logical inconsistencies. Needs to be finished by November 15th, though, so if you’re doing Nano, spend your time preparing for that.

The story? Well, two telecomms engineers are vacationing with their significant others in Australia when nefarious deeds have both engineers AND their partners fighting for their lives, and the lives of thousands.

You know, the usual drill. If you’re wondering, the whole thing is about 68,000 words long, so one of my shorter ones. (The brevity of screenplays is rubbing off on me.)

Leave a comment if you want to help out with a beta read.

WordPress is being a twat. The edit window is painted closed preventing me from posting a media rich post. This is in the “Quick Draft” page which is, I guess, better than a kick in the nuts with a frozen boot.



No Nano this year. I know, I know, I’ve said that before and then proceeded to participate in the 50,000 + word (or bust) challenge. This year, though, is different.

Last November’s Nano got me started on the third Matt and George adventure. Made it to about 3/4 through the second act. Then I realised my third act was impossible to write as planned. Waaaaay to much suspension of disbelief required of the readers.

Then in early January of this year I came down with a nasty case of troll which literally stopped me writing for about six months. I wandered off sideways into the brilliantly fun land of screenplays (my favourite is here >> <<) and let the shit-storm settle.

But three or four days ago, out of nowhere, the fix to Act 3 dropped into my frontal lobe unbidden. A brilliant solution to an otherwise intractable problem, I think.

I hope.

So this year, instead of ploughing through another 50k+ words of a new first draft, I’m finishing last year’s. But I’m not going to wait until November to start. I’m planning on a release date of December 15th, with preorders available a month earlier than that. All I need to do is write the last 20,000 to 30,000 words, gin up a title and get a cover created.

So wish me luck, for both the book and being able to actually post this post.

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