A Hands-on Guide to Write a Book

Tips to Help Busy People Master Story Structure and

Write a Book Readers Will Love.

Don’t let distractions hold you back. Start now and master story structure, characters, plots, and themes.

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Grant Ferguson

It’s all about helping busy people master story structure and write a book readers will love.

Grant Ferguson

Here’s how it works…

Phase I: PLAN

1. Prepare to Write a Book

Use this time-proven step to choose your genre. Turn an idea into a premise. Develop interesting characters. Design an intriguing plot. Form external, internal, and philosophical themes. Adopt a storytelling structure.

➨1.0 Genre

Your chosen genre gives you an understanding of what your target readers expect.

➨1.1 Premise

In a sentence or two, the premise gives a story’s big picture and writer’s development strategy.

➨1.2 Characters

The preparation step includes selecting the best characters to tell the story and creating backstories that shape their thoughts, choices, words, and actions.

➨1.3 Plot

The plot highlights key events (i.e., turning points) within you chosen genre that cause conflicts and steer the story toward the climax.

➨1.4 Theme

The external, internal, and philosophical themes convey what your story is about.

➨1.5 Structure

Structure guides how and where to place content within your story.

Phase II: OUTLINE

2. Build Your Story’s Spine

Based on your premise, the Story Spine lays a firm foundation, naming the hero, defining the problem, giving the narrative’s beginning, middle, and ending, and hinting at external, internal, and philosophical goals and themes.

3. Flesh Out Your Story’s Body

Based on the Story Spine, the Story Body tells the short version of the entire narrative, organizing the initial contents for completion of the Story Beats.

4. Outline Your Story’s Beats

Based on proven structures divided into eighteen beats, the Story Beats help you outline scenes and scene sequences.

Phase III: WRITE

5. Create the Story’s Logline

A one-to-two-sentence logline enables others to envision the emotional aspects of your entire story.

6. Write the Scenes and Scene Sequences

Draft your story scenes, grouping the action and people into a logical order and advancing the story. Organize scene sequences into a rational group of scenes to form one of the Global Story Beats.

Phase IV: EDIT

7. Self-edit Your Manuscript

A self-edit tightens loose structure, fleshes out underdeveloped characters, fills plot holes, clarifies theme, and corrects errors before spending time and money on professional copyediting and proofreading.

Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t see your question? Ask Here.

➨Why can’t I just write a book instead of following a 7-step plan?

I felt the same way, and didn’t let my ignorance of story structure stop me from self-publishing four books. When all I heard were crickets instead of ringing cash registers, I realized there had to be a better way. I read books, visited websites, took courses, and attended webinars.

To date, I’ve recorded and organized over 3,000 writing notes, which I break down into practical tasks and share with subscribers.

➨Why approach writing a book as a project?

For many years, I led teams merging mega-sized corporations, so I learned to value a project plan. When you write a book of 50,000 to 100,000 words, you’ve got hundreds of moving parts and dozens of issues to resolve. A project plan divided into steps helps you avoid the frustration of writing a novel no one wants to read.

When you’re busy, and have to hit the pause button on writing, a plan allows you to pick right back up where you left off.

➨Where did you discover 7-Step Storytelling?

In the corporate world, learning from books enabled me to move up in the ranks from a humble beginning to a senior position. I’ve used that same process to discover and apply the advice taught by respected writing teachers.

So you can focus on writing instead of studying, I’ve distilled the writing advice gleaned from dozens of books into posts, checklists, and workbooks.

➨How much do you charge for 7-Step Storytelling?

Nada! Unless you buy me coffee, purchase one of my workbooks, or take a paid writing course, the information is free. To support the cost of maintaining this site, I have affiliate links for apps and books, and when you buy, you’ll not pay one penny more even though I might earn a small commission. By the way, I only recommend apps, books, and courses I’ve purchased and tested.

If you read the pages and posts on TameYourBook.com, you can find most of the information included in my workbooks and courses, but you would miss out on the convenience of having all the explanations, instructions, prompts, and worksheets you need in convenient packages.

I encourage you to share TameYourBook.com with others. As Nelson Henderson wrote, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”

➨What do you provide subscribers?

Explore the links above and check out The Ultimate Free Character Template and Arc.

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