Build a Better Story

ABOUT Hank Quense

hank quense
Award-winning author Hank Quense lives in Bergenfield, NJ with his wife Pat.  They have two daughters and five grandchildren.  He writes humorous fantasy and scifi stories.  On occasion, he also writes an article on fiction writing or book marketing but says that writing nonfiction is l More...


Have a story that needs to be told?  Here's the best way to go about doing it.

The book describes a process that eases the work involved in developing a story.  This reduces the time spent in reworking flawed and imperfect drafts. Following the process allows more time to be spent on the creative activities and shortens the time spent on less creative work.

Besides the process, this book takes a unique approach to character building and plotting.  It identifies problem areas that inexperienced writers struggle with and explains how to address those problems including character motivation and scene design.

The premise behind this book is that stories don't pop into the author's head fully formed. A story is the product of many hours of patient work on the different facets that are needed to build a compelling story. These major facets include character building, plotting, motivation and finally, story design or construction. The book addresses those facets and simplifies the author's struggle by including design forms that can be used to guide the processes of character and plot development. I'm sure some people will claim I am stifling creativity with a design process. I disagree. Nothing in my process stifles creativity; rather the process channels the creative ideas so that more time is available to the author to be creative.

Build a Better Story is the perfect companion for anyone looking to start writing fiction. The explanations are clear and to the point, and help to simplify the many complexities that are necessary to transform a good story into a great one. With hints and tips to prevent those ‘first-timer’ mistakes, this book is essential for new writers and old hands alike. Emma's editing: Emma Walker

Hank Quense shares the design process for writing a book of fiction. Quense encourages writers to develop the idea for the story rather than jumping into the writing. I found his process fascinating.  He recommends the author develop the characters, plot, setting and other elements of the story prior to starting the first draft."

Quense’s process continues with flow charts, etc. His idea is to be organized. He continues his book by discussing motivation, patience, character development, etc. This book is thin but he covers it all. He even offers flow chart examples and how to use daytime TV to improve your writing.

I like to be organized, and I can readily see where Quense’s design process would work.

The text is written in an easy to read and understand style. I can see how this book would benefit authors, especially new authors. I highly recommend this book to all writers."