Introducing One Stop For Writers’ NEW Structure Tool: Story Maps

It’s been quite a while since Becca and I have posted about One Stop for Writers, a site we launched back in October with Lee Powell, the creator of Scrivener for Windows. And, oh my gosh you guys, I have to tell you that while I love writing books and helping writers through them, this new site, working with Lee and Becca? I am having more fun than I ever have had. It amazes me each and every day how talented these two are and it’s exciting to see the One Stop library grow and develop and I feel so lucky to be a part of something that can really change the game for writers.

one-stop-for-writers-badge-xsmallSpeaking of growing, One Stop For Writers just finished its first upgrade! Honestly, the hardest part was narrowing down what we wanted to tackle first, because we have so many ideas on how to make it even more useful. But somehow we did, and so for those interested, this is what we have added to the site.

Visual Structure Planning: Story Maps

Do the phrases “Story Structure” and “Character Arc” send adrenaline thrumming through your veins, or cause your stomach to drop in free-fall? Either way, it doesn’t matter! Story Maps is a structure-loving writer’s dream AND the answer to a struggling writer’s planning woes.

Most writers would agree that applying structure, either intuitively or through deliberate planning, results in a more powerful story. The problem is there are many types of structure models, and not all look at both inner character development (character arc) as well as the outer story events. Story Maps does both, and so we hope this will make things a bit easier, helping writers visualize as they plan so they know exactly where to go next in their story.

6_Stage_at_One Stop

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Adapted from the amazing Hollywood story expert Michael Hauge’s 6-Stage Plot Structure, we lead you through important turning points, providing guidance on outer events and inner character transformation.

The Story Map covers three character arc types: the Change Arc (inner transformation), the Static Arc (action-focus, little growth) and the Failed Arc (a tragedy ending).  As you can see below, at each Stage or Turning Point, you can access helpful plotting hints as you plan, and see an example of A Few Good Men broken down by structure points.

A Few Good Men One Stop

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Once you finish filling in the structure pieces, you can transform your plan into a Map, or download it as a PDF. What could be easier?

AFGM_One Stop Example

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I know some Pantsers out there are not big fans of structure, but there’s good news on that front, too. In coming weeks we are also bringing on several more tools that allow for timeline and scene planning suitable for different comfort levels of plotting. (I’ll post again when these are on the site, because I can’t wait to show you. Lee and Paul are techno-wizards and what they come up with is pure magic!)

One Stop’s Description Nirvana: The Setting Thesaurus Is Now Bigger & Better

As many of you know, Becca and I have been working on 2 new Setting Thesaurus books which we will release in June. (June! I know, books are a bit slow, aren’t they?) The good news is all the descriptive entries for these Setting books (along with all of our other books & completed thesauruses) are now available through One Stop. Yes, a MASSIVE database of the sights, smells, sounds, tastes and textures for 225 settings at your fingertips as you write!

The Setting Thesaurus spans both urban and rural locations, so you can find everything from an abandoned mine, to a morgue, to a high school hallway, to a nightclub, to a child’s bedroom. We tried to choose real-world locations your characters would be likely to visit, as well as profile places we hope will spark your imagination, helping you to think outside the usual setting box. Hopefully this larger, more robust thesaurus will really help you make their story worlds come alive for readers.

(If you would like to see a example of one of these settings, check out “police car” here.)

So much more is coming, so stay tuned!

No hard sell, just excitement

Probably some would hit you up with the big sell at this point, but that isn’t us. One Stop for Writers might be for you, or it might not be.  Either way, it’s all good–just keep writing!  🙂

Happy writing,

Angela & Becca

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About ANGELA ACKERMAN

Angela is an international speaker and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also enjoys dreaming up new tools and resources for One Stop For Writers, a library built to help writers elevate their storytelling.

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15 Responses to Introducing One Stop For Writers’ NEW Structure Tool: Story Maps

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  4. Judy Levine says:

    I have your 3 Thesauri. I am also trying to change from a pantser to and an outliner, structure writer, and I am finding your website and pins very, very, very, very, helpful. (Sorry, I know VERY is a no-no in good writing and so is repeating it.) I am excited, and your story arc material in particular will help with my protagonist (female) and second primary character (male). I’m trying to do the very best novel I’m capable of and see it as Literary and also a romance. Doesn’t matter if it takes a long time. Doesn’t matter (now) if I can sell it.

    • Excitement is always a good thing, and I love the passion that comes through your comment. It sounds like you are on the exact right path, and I’m so glad that our material will help you get this story down. Becca and I are wishing you all the best!

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  7. Even though I’m a pantster, the story maps sound brilliant. I often think I should give more time to structure! All the best with the new Thesaurus books.

    • Thanks, Rosemary! As a hardcore planner, I’m a little biased, but I’ve always thought that some level of planning can be helpful for everyone. The tool we have now is awesome, but it might be more than many pantsers want. The good news? In the near future, we’ll be adding some modified structure tools that offer a lot of flexibility in how much planning a writer might want to do. We’re thinking these might be really helpful for pantsers out there :).

  8. YES! Can’t wait for the new books. So excited to get my hands on them. No hard sell here. Takes My Money! LOL Worth every cent … Xinfinity!

    Thanks for staying AWESOME! 😀

  9. Thank you for this lovely post, Becca! It’s truly helpful!

  10. All good, all good!!

  11. I have a feeling you guys might have planned this to come out before CampNaNO, if not then you have spectacular timing. I cannot wait to try this out with my current WIP which is currently in planning stages as I get ready for April. Thank you for always having our backs and providing some fantastic resources!

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