Lights Out: James Scott Bell’s Signpost Scene #11

Hi writing warriors, and welcome back to studying and understanding James Scott Bell’s genius breakdown of a plot’s 14 signpost scenes (as discussed in his craft book Super Structure)!  If you recall from my last month’s column—featuring Signpost Scene #10, Mounting Forces—we’ve forged forward into the last act of the story. In other words, it’s… Read more »

Pet the Dog: Signpost Scene #8

Much like the second signpost scene (The Care Package) in James Scott Bell’s SuperStructure, the Pet the Dog scene gives the reader a chance to catch his/her breath while reinforcing care and concern for the story’s Lead (protagonist). Think about it, if the Lead thinks “only of himself,” readers “get a negative impression.” If we… Read more »

Midpoints: Signpost Scene 7 and The Mirror Moment

Halfway through our stories (literally, the 50% mark), something absolutely remarkable happens. As we read through Act II, we’re moving along, enjoying the new obstacles that challenge your protagonist when *cue whipping sound* something BIG happens. In his book Super Structure, multi-bestselling author James Scott Bell questioned if there really was anything “unique” about the… Read more »

Signpost Scenes — A Kick in the Shins

If you read my last article on the Point of No Return Decision (Signpost Scene #5 in James Scott Bell’s Superstructure) you know that every Lead makes a HUGE decision that launches them into Act II. But what happens after that massive moment? For some weaker first drafts of a WIP, sometimes nothing. This is… Read more »

Signpost Scenes — Doorway of No Return #1

Here we go again! Week #5 of James Scott Bell’s 14 signpost scenes, and I promise that you’re in for a big one. Why? Because signpost #5, otherwise known as The Doorway of No Return #1 (The Point of No Return, abbreviated PONR), is one of the three massive, explosive, impossible-to-write-a-story-without plot points. If you’re… Read more »

Signpost Scenes — Trouble Brewing

Welcome back, readers! I hope that my last article on The Argument Against Transformation helped clear up any questions you had on theme and your Lead’s need for transformation. Now, as we move forward with act one, we approach a crucial signpost scene that, though quick, makes a big difference escalating tension and exciting readers,… Read more »

Signpost Scenes — The Argument Against Transformation

Welcome to week three! In my last two articles I’ve discussed two major beats in every story: the disturbance and the care package. Both of these beats focus on how events or vulnerabilities impact or develop the Lead (i.e. – the protagonist). So you shouldn’t be surprised as we venture into James Scott Bell’s third… Read more »

Signpost Scenes — The Care Package

In my article last month, we discussed the first of James Scott Bell’s signpost scenes in his plotting masterpiece Super Structure: The Key To Unleashing The Power of Story. We went through how first chapters must incorporate some sort of disturbance that upsets the routine of the protagonist’s ordinary world. But readers won’t care about… Read more »