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Writing tools featured on the Why In The World? (WITW) YouTube channel.

Why In The World? is a YouTube channel for writers.  It demonstrates how writing tools can be used to analyze stories from a wide variety of different media to learn from their examples and improve as writers. To see the latest videos, follow the link to the Why In The World? YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to be notified when new videos are posted.

Each writing tool featured on the channel will have a corresponding introduction video as well as additional resources such as handouts or examples.  These writing resources can be found below.

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For Authors: Welcome


This is Part Two of our series on Sanderson’s Characters Sliders, a writing tool created by author Brandon Sanderson. In this video, we explore how Sanderson's three character sliders: Likability, Competence, and Proactivity, can be used to design and analyze character introductions and character arcs.

Additional Resources:

Character Slider Worksheet

Sanderson's Character Sliders (Part 2) Handout

For Authors: About


Sanderson’s Characters Sliders, created by author Brandon Sanderson, is a writing tool for developing and analyzing characters. ​It suggests that there are three aspects of a character that typically determine how engaging the character will be: Likability, Competence, and Proactivity. If a character is high in at least one of these three qualities, it typically results in an engaging character.

This is Part One of a two part series. This video provides an overview of the sliders, how their values can be manipulated, and examples of the types of characters that result from different slider configurations. Part Two will explore how this tool can be used to design and analyze character introductions and character arcs.

Additional Resources:

Character Slider Worksheet

Sanderson's Character Sliders (Part 1) Handout


Brandon Sanderson Creative Writing Lectures:

Writing Excuses Podcast:
Hosts: Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler

For Authors: About


SAMOSAS is a story structure tool used for plotting character arcs. It divides the character's storyline into seven parts:

  1. Status Quo - Show the character's starting state. Are they content or discontent?

  2. Alter the Status Quo - Change the situation in a way the character perceives as a threat or opportunity.

  3. Make a Choice - The character responds by making a choice.

  4. Obstacles Arise - Obstacles impede progress and have consequences when the character succeeds or fails.

  5. Set Sights - After passing through the obstacles, the character realizes what they truly want and takes action to make it happen.

  6. Adversity Intensifies - Deny the character what they want.

  7. Status Resolution - Character overcomes adversity or fails, resulting in a new status quo.

For an introduction to SAMOSAS story structure, check out the introduction video below.

Additional Resources:


For Authors: About


There are many different story structures available when writing or analyzing a story. This chart compares several popular story structures and attempts to align the similar plot points they have in common. It is best to think of them as tools in a tool box; they each have their strengths and you should use the one that fits best for the story you are working on.

Is there a story structure you would like to see added to the chart? Contact me and let me know. 

Thank you to all of my writer friends in the Potted Plant for helping me compile and organize this work.

see added to the chart? Contact me and let me know.

Download a high resolution image of the Story Structure Comparison Chart.

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For Authors: About
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