Write great protagonists!
I'll be at LDSPMA
Tips organized by topic
Read about me
Editing Services
Read Testimonials
Learn the "bones" of story

Monday, January 23, 2023

BIG NEWS: My Online Writing Course!

So, I've been working on a secret project: a live, online writing course. Yay! ๐ŸŽ‰ I'm teaming up with My Story Doctor to bring forth a nearly 30-hour class all about developing solid content for stories. And now? It's open for enrollment.

The Triarchy Method of Story: A New Writing Course by September C. Fawkes

The Triarchy Method will help you craft your best book by focusing on what matters most: The “bones” of story. This content-focused course will help you brainstorm better and more relevant material, evaluate what ideas most belong in your story (preventing you from writing hundreds of pages that need to be scrapped), and craft a page-turning plot with compelling characters that sticks with readers long after they’ve closed the book (. . . and hopefully leads them to preorder your next book). The Triarchy Method will illuminate your way to a stronger, solid story.

But only under one condition: You must do the work.

Whether you are in the brainstorming stage, writing stage, or revising stage, and whether you prefer to pants or plan your first draft, strong bones lead to strong stories. So, what are the bones? I call them “The Triarchy of Story,” and they are as follows:


Character is represented by the rib cage—it houses the heart of story. It’s how the audience gains emotional experience from the narrative, through (to some degree) empathy.


Plot is represented by the backbone—it holds the story upright and together. It’s the curvature that makes up the narrative arc, the spine that runs from beginning to end.


Theme is represented by the skull—it hosts the intellect of story. It’s how the audience gleans meaning that sticks with them long after the narrative is over. It’s why the story matters.

While some stories and genres may (rightfully) emphasize one bone over the others, it’s the progression of these elements that turns ideas into stories

And if any of this sounds a little familiar to you, it's because I've talked about the triarchy on here before--as the "trinity of storytelling" (but, ya know "bones" and "trinity" don't really work the greatest for branding and marketing, for obvious reasons ✝️๐Ÿ™ƒ).

Nearly every scene, every chapter in your story should be progressing one of these three things. If it’s not, it’s likely filler (even if cleverly disguised filler (painful, I know)). Ideally, the majority of scenes in most stories will actually be progressing all three simultaneously. Don’t worry—I will be digging deep into each element to help you unbury your own story’s bones to accomplish this.

We will be focusing on core principles of each.

For characters, we will talk about your protagonist’s internal wants and backstory, the four basic types of arcs, how to build a balanced cast and make characters complex. We will also talk about agency, archetypes, relationships, and more.

For plot, we will cover the importance of goals, how to pick the right antagonistic forces, how to make conflicts meaningful, and why stakes are critical to keep the pages turning. We will also cover how to create a sense of progress and setbacks, escalate costs, craft turning points, write reveals and twists, and more.

For theme, we will discuss its often misunderstood components, and how to show them effectively through the story. We will also discuss how to replicate the human experience so that your reader comes away wiser, better, and more intelligent—with the story sticking to them long after The End.

We will always keep in mind these are principles, not laws, so there is room for variation (which we will talk about).

Of course, though, simply having a rib cage, backbone, and skull isn’t usually enough—you need to organize them into a coherent structure. They need to be arranged into their proper places, so they look “human” to other humans (i.e. like a “story” to other humans).

This is where structure comes in.

After digging up the bones, we’ll structure them in a way that is familiar and understandable to the audience.

We will structure not only the plot, but the character cast and theme as well. We will cover basic story structure, scene structure, act structure, and narrative arc beats.

Near the end of the course, we will workshop one of your scenes in class. And your final assignment will be to turn in a guided outline of your story for feedback.

Ideally, once the bones are strong and in place, your story will be—more or less—writing itself.

Not only can The Triarchy Method help you with your current story, but it can help you with all future stories.

I’ll give you the tools, you bring the dream—roll up your sleeves for some digging, because together we’re gonna make your story bone-solid.


This is a live, online course that will be limited to 10 students.

Classes will be every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 pm Mountain Time (8:30 pm EST), starting March 7th and ending on May 25th. If you miss a class, there will be links to the recordings and material so that you can review them later.

Nearly every lesson includes a developmental assignment, which I will give basic feedback on.

Also, if you desire, you can be added to a brainstorming/writing group or partnership to meet with outside of class.

For a full description and details, go here.


I love sharing my enthusiasm for writing, and I think it's no secret I like thoroughly dissecting the craft. I also enjoy teaching. So this will be an exciting new venture. If you've been following me for a while, you'll likely notice the course covers some familiar concepts I've talked about on my blog. I'm excited to dig deep into those concepts and cover new ones, while also explaining how they all connect (which is certainly too difficult and massive to fit into a single blog post (or blog series)).

Whether you register or not, thanks for being here and sharing this special milestone with me--it's kind of a big deal to me. (I'd also appreciate it if you spread the word ๐Ÿ˜‰) May all your writing dreams come true๐Ÿ™

- September C. Fawkes


  1. Hello! How do I sign up for the class?

    1. Hi, it looks like the class filled up late last night. Sorry! Hopefully I will teach it again in the future.


I love comments :)