Margie Lawson

Changing your Writing World

Story Structure Safari

Beautiful words and exciting scenes aren't enough to propel the reader through a novel. Stories need structure, a plan, a focus from beginning to end.

Story Structure Safari will guide you through the dense jungle of information about story. Our trek will include excursions into the lands of Story Structure and Transformational Character Arcs and Plot.

We'll step back and explore the sweeping overview of several popular novels and movies to explain and reinforce the concepts. We'll also take some intimate hikes to zoom in on the work and knowledge of plot and story structure superstars.

Throughout the class, I'll share information from Story gurus including Shawn Coyne, Lisa Cron, Martha Alderson, James Scott Bell, Robert McKee and bestselling authors including Nora Roberts, Suzanne Collins, and Kristin Hannah.

Using a variety of techniques, you'll have opportunities to infuse these ideas into your story, creating a tantalizing experience for the reader.


Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller is a 26-year veteran teacher, as well as a certified counselor. She branched out to pursue her long time passion for writing fiction. A graduate of all things Margie, Lisa created and coordinates the DSDB Alumni Yahoo Loop. Not always finding the writing classes she needs, Lisa scours the internet and how-to books for self-instruction. She has now funneled that knowledge into an online course and merged it with her teaching skills in a desire to share what she has discovered with other writers who want to strengthen their stories.



After Twenty Years of Frustration . . .

5.0 rating
January 30, 2020

I finally learned there is life after pantsing. I took my first SSS class back in 2015, and have taken it every year since. SSS teaches the underlying principles of storytelling, much like learning the laws of physics. You don't have to believe in gravity, but you'll still fall if you lose your balance. So too with storytelling. Theme. Plot. First Plot Point. Protagonist. Midpoint. The Fall. The Crisis. Character Arcs. Lisa teaches each essential element and how they fit together, using examples from literature, bestsellers, and movies.
At heart, she's a teacher- tough, demanding, but also patient and compassionate. Lisa got me out of my circular thinking and coached me through the discipline to take a raw story idea or a work in progress and craft a plot structure that works. Plenty of room for creativity and brainstorming, and a lot of surprises along the way.
I try to take every story I write, from raw concept to finished structure, through the SSS class. As a result, my writing is stronger, more flexible, more compelling. I can't think of a more efficient or effective way of working with a story coach.
I'm looking forward to the next class.

Kathleen "KC" Parrish

Plot Wizardry

5.0 rating
January 28, 2020

Story Safari is a class jam-packed with many, many golden nuggets of plot wizardry-wisdom. No section of your story will be left untouched once you embark on Story Safari. And Lisa makes sure you enjoy the ride. This is a class you may want to take with each book you write.

Suzanne Purvis

Why I automatically enroll every time it's offered...

5.0 rating
January 27, 2020

If Lisa offers the class, I clear my schedule, block off the month, and warn family and friends to schedule events after my class is complete because I am ready to get to work and listen to the great advice and lessons.
I recommend Story Structure Safari to anyone who wants to write a compelling story, not just a novel. We all are hard-wired for stories and we crave them to be structured in a certain way, but most of us are oblivious to why we believe a movie or book is good or bad. This class has turned me into a structure junky. I am now like a curious kid tearing apart stories of all types to see what makes them tick.
No matter how much I think I understand my story trajectory when I start the class, Story Structure Safari takes my ideas and pushes me to make the story more engaging. Lisa asks tough questions to make sure the important pieces of the story meets both the reader's expectations and the story's trajectory. I must think about the story I want to tell and what it needs instead of slapping random things on the page and pray it will make sense in the end.

Melissa Borg

Safari turned this pantser into a plotter (mostly).

5.0 rating
January 27, 2020

Tossing out a hundred-page tangent didn't cure me of my pantser tendencies.
Losing time in multiple revisions didn't cure me, either.
Lisa Miller's Story Structure Safari class cured me.
Now, I take each of my books through Safari before I write them. Not only does what I learned in Safari keep my books from veering off-track, it helps me to build stronger characters with better motivations and more insurmountable conflicts. I learned how to indulge my pantser tendencies to noodle around in the weeds without getting lost in them. You will use what you learn in Safari with every book you write.

Babette de Jongh

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