Complicated Storylines and Multiple Character Arcs – Self Publishing Podcast #171


Ever feel like you’re juggling cats with so many different characters and story lines? In this episode, Johnny, Sean, and Dave talk about how THEY approach the problem of keeping it all cohesive.

  • The guys reveal their typical structure for their serials, including Yesterday’s Gone, The Beam, and others.
  • Techniques to *keep things straight* when you’re juggling a million different things.
  • What the HECK is reverse formatting? (You read it and had no idea in Yesterday’s Gone.)
  • Find tools with ‘buckets and blueprints’ that will help you keep everything sorted, and how much you have to get right in the first draft.
  • The technique Johnny hates, but can’t help but use for multiple story lines: loose notes for loose threads.
  • Stephen King’s *bomb strategy* to cure writer’s block. (But Dave thinks it’s cheap.)


  1. Excellent.

    Has anyone tried Amazon’s Storybuilder to outline a book?

    The Stand was stupid.

  2. I wouldn’t mind more craft casts.
    Also, since you guys have experience in journalism and copy-writing, I would love to hear a cast that talks about where they cross paths.
    Not sure if you guys have done that one yet.

  3. The download link goes to Episode 170, not 171.

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