Abigail K. Perry

Story Grid Scene Analysis: The Giver of Stars

Welcome back! In my last column I talked about the immense value of using Story Grid’s Scene Analysis Template to read with purpose, by learning how to read (and analyze a scene) like a writer.  To recap: the bulk of the Scene Analysis Template focuses on how a working scene creates a Story Event—or an… Read more »

Abigail K. Perry

Use the Story Grid Scene Analysis Template to Read With Purpose

Writers know that reading is essential to growing their craft, but did you know there’s a difference between reading for fun and reading analysis? When I became a Certified Story Grid Editor in 2019 (Story Grid is an editing methodology that provides practical tools and tips to help writers in the writing process), this understanding… Read more »


Transformation — Signpost Scene #14 (The Final Signpost!)

At last, we come to the end of my 14-column-series on James Scott Bell’s Signpost Scenes, as depicted in his wonderful book on craft, Super Structure. Signpost Scene #14–Transformation–might be short and subtle, but it’s wildly important for a story’s success. Essentially, the purpose of Transformation is exactly what it sounds like: a scene that… Read more »

The Final Battle — Signpost Scene #13

This is it. THE signpost scene. The scene that James Scott Bell says is, “the whole point of a novel” in his writing craft book, Super Structure. Signpost Scene #13: The Final Battle. In the Final Battle, readers (and writers) get to experience the reason they clung to a story in the first place. In this… Read more »

The Q Factor — Signpost Scene #12

Signpost Scene #12, the Q Factor, in James Scott Bell’s Super Structure is not one to forget. Though simple in concept, understanding it will determine the difference between a convenient ending and one readers will talk about for years.  This is how it’s done.  The Q Factor Tagged the “Q Factor” in James Scott Bell’s… Read more »

Lights Out — 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 »

Mounting Forces — Signpost Scene #10

All right, writers! We’re in the home stretch. If you’ve been following along with my last nine articles studying James Scott Bell’s insightful book on plot, Super Structure, you know everything I’ve discussed leading up to this crucial—yet quick—signpost scene. If you haven’t (I encourage you do!), here’s a quick summary: we’ve just left Act… Read more »

The Doorway of No Return #2 — Signpost Scene #9

Storytelling language can go by many names, especially when it comes to major plot points: point of no return, external and internal conflicts, stakes, etc. One of the most well-known terms defines a moment essential for every story. It comes at the very end of your middle act and pushes your Lead into a new… 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 »

The Mirror Moment — Signpost Scene #7

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 »