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Writing Craft: Story Structure

Writing Craft and launching The Foundation of Plot

Writing CraftI’m thrilled to launch the first in my series of short guidebooks on the craft of writing, The Foundation of Plot.

For fifty-four weeks in a row, I taught workshops on writing via Zoom as a way to deal with lockdown. I wanted to give back to the writing community, which I have been a part of for a lot of years. It was a delight to hang out with writers for an hour and a half every Wednesday morning, and while I no longer do the weekly events, I still enjoy getting together online with writers.

Writing Craft Workshops coming up! Click the link here.

During that process I was often asked when I would write a book about the writing craft. Not only was I interested in doing that, but it was clear there was a hunger for more craft books.

I tried a variety of outlines, but could never land on the right combination of all the many, many topics I wanted to cover.

Then it hit me, rather than one giant book on craft, I wanted to mimic the workshops I’d been teaching — and loving — all year long. Short, concise, focused guides for specific issues that, as a developmental editor, I see over and over in works-in-progress.

I started with story structure because it is literally the foundation for any project, whether fiction, narrative nonfiction, or memoir. Without structure, any story will sag. But every story can be fixed! Story structure can be sorted out and strengthened at any time during the writing process.

Writing The Foundation of Plot was a delight. I hope readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

I’d love to hear how your work in progress is going! Send me a note and check in. We’re all in this together.

To purchase The Foundation of Plot, click on any of the following links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound

Want to learn more about the writer’s process? Click the link here to check out author other author interviews.

Author Pet Corner!

Polar and Wyatt!
Cocoa hanging on to her brother Coal Train!

I love all the animals. I have the greatest dogs, horses, and cats in the world. At least they are the greatest to me!

Polar is our English cream golden retriever, and Wyatt is his little mini-me and best bud. He’s a Shichon and super fierce, except when he’s not, then he has his big brother to protect him.

Then we have Cocoa and Coal Train, our tiny black panthers.

Last but not least, Jasper, my Fabio in a Paint costume, and Radar, my Paint that aint, a solid chestnut with a hilarious sense of humor. They make every day a wonder.

Jasper and Radar!

Elena Hartwell also writes as Elena Taylor

Writing Craft

Elena Taylor spent several years working in theater as a playwright, director, designer, and educator before turning her storytelling skills to fiction. Her first series, the Eddie Shoes Mysteries, written under the name Elena Hartwell, introduced a quirky mother/daughter crime fighting duo.

With All We Buried, Elena returns to her dramatic roots and brings readers a much more serious and atmospheric novel. Located in her beloved Washington State, Elena uses her connection to the environment to produce a forbidding story of small town secrets and things that won’t stay buried.

Elena is also a senior editor with Allegory Editing, a developmental editing house, where she works one-on-one with writers to shape and polish manuscripts, short stories, and plays. If you’d like to work with Elena, visit

When she’s not writing or coaching writing, her favorite place to be is at the farm with her horses, Jasper and Radar, or at her home, on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington, with her husband, their dogs Polar and Wyatt, and their cats Coal Train and Cocoa. Elena holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego, a M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

To learn more about Elena, click on any of the following links: Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter

Elena Taylor/Elena Hartwell

Writing CraftAll We Buried, available now in print, e-book, and audio.

Silver Falchion Award Finalist, Best Investigator 2020

Foreword INDIE Award Finalist, Best Mystery 2020



The Foundation of Plot, a Wait, Wait, Don’t Query (Yet!) guidebook.

Header photo by Lubos Houska on Pixabay.

Elena Hartwell

Author and developmental editor.

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