Plotting an Amazing Story with Amber Royer

Comic science fiction author Amber Royer will present ‘Plotting an Amazing Story.’ Participants will learn to structure on both the scene and story level, and will work over the course of the weekend to outline a short story.

Session 1: Understanding Scene and Sequel

Scene and sequel are the two units that come together to make stories that are relatable as readers see the actions the character takes (scene) and the psychological reactions that make those actions understandable (sequel). Learn how to balance these two elements, how they are tied to scene goals, and how they give the reader a stake in what happens in the story.

Session 2: Structuring a Short Story

If you want a compelling story that leads up to an aha moment, hits the reader emotionally, or makes a strong thematic statement, you need to have a coherent structure. Learn how to move from a situation into an active story, how to determine which scenes do and do not belong inside a story’s arc, and how failure is a necessary structure element.

Session 3: Plotting to Reveal Character

Your protagonist is at the heart of your story, and readers want to see characters who are impacted or changed by the story’s events. Learn how to use opening plot events to get the reader attached to your characters, how to design a character that will be tested by the plot (or vice versa), and how plot events can force a character to arc – or achieve an epiphany.


Amber Royer authored the comic space opera Chocoverse series and has co-authored the choco-cookbook There Are Herbs in My Chocolate, and has published short fiction pieces and non-fiction articles. Story Like a Journalist, a textbook/workbook for novelists will be releasing June 10 in both a collected form, and as individual units.

Amber has been teaching creative writing for UT Arlington Continuing Education since 2008, and has also taught Writing Workshops Dallas for a couple of years. She lectures and critiques for Writing Day Workshops. Before that, she was a youth librarian. She leads the Saturday Night Write writing craft discussion group (which also has a Facebook Group and FREE monthly meetings). She can be found blogging about creative writing technique and people she’s met who do craft chocolate over at

“When evaluating a student/client manuscript, I focus on sound psychological character creation, and ensuing that characters are making significant choices to shape the plot. I love seeing the “aha!” moments when student writers make breakthroughs in understand craft – or during a developmental critique.”