Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
Story Design

So I've gotten really, really interested in story design. (Or story work or “plotting” or the deeply inadequate “outlining”.) I may actually have gone a bit too far down the rabbit hole at this point. In any case, for grins and posterity, herewith is a glimpse into my complete story design for the latest book, Arisen : Nemesis. I write in the wonderful Scrivener. What you're seeing here is my Scrivener project, with:

  • Composition window on the right
  • A single notes document in the middle
  • File tree on the left, with every folder expanded (and Frankensteinenly stitched together). This includes the manuscript chapters themselves (by act), comprehensive story beats (ditto), all my notes files, character sketches, research material from books – and even an early version of the design based on the infamous Blake Snyder Beat Sheet. Something like 350 documents in total.

You'll want to click on it for the expanded view, to actually read the document names. (Unless you're still reading the book and don't want spoilers, in which case go away five minutes ago!)

  storytelling     writing     nemesis     story design  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

my latest book
ARISEN : Raiders, Volume 5 - The Last Raid by Michael Stephen Fuchs
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