Beyond the Hero’s Journey: Alternative Story Structures

Beyond the Hero’s Journey: Alternative Story Structures – July 3, 2021 at 2PM EST

The Heroic Quest or Hero’s Journey — also known as the Archplot or Three Act method — is foundational to fiction writing, yet only scratches the surface of story structure tools! While the traditional model is classic for many reasons, not all stories are best told through this structure. Alternative structures can offer options to writers feeling limited by the constraints of the Hero’s Arc or struggling to organize story flow.

How scenes are organized and which arcs are highlighted focuses attention and pulls readers through the narrative, directing the story’s impact. Beyond the Hero’s Journey: Alternative Story Structures will discuss how story structure works with plot to shape a story’s energy. Discover how using alternative story structures to embrace other archetypes and story arrangements can bring texture and cadence to your writing.

Sign up today or look at the full event schedule!

The Moderator

Mato J. Steger is an openly out and proud Queer and Anishinaabe (North American Indigenous) fantasy and sci-fi writer, who can’t resist making everything he touches a romance. He is proudly represented by Hannah VanVels of BelCastro Literary Agency.


The Guests

Jimi Rodriguez

Jimi Rodriguez is an author from Houston, TX. After graduating from The Ohio State University, he became a teacher in his hometown. He went on to obtain a Master’s Degree from Ohio University. He lives in Houston with his wife and two children.

For years, he told his students stories of the characters in From Chaos Comes Order. The characters were a work of friendship, as many major roles in the story were conceived by his friends in writing and life. Finally, he created the series From Chaos Comes Order. Book One: Chaos is his debut novel. From Chaos Comes Order is planned to have four books in total. Book Three: Savior is coming soon! Find him online at:

Joyce Reynolds-Ward

Joyce Reynolds-Ward has been called “the best writer I’ve never heard of” by one reviewer. Her work includes themes of high-stakes family and political conflict, physical and digital sentience, personal agency and control, realistic strong women, and (whenever possible) horses. She is the author of The Netwalk Sequence series, the Goddess’s Honor series, and the recently released The Martiniere Legacy series as well as standalones Klone’s Stronghold and Alien Savvy. Her latest work, The Heritage of Michael Martiniere, was released in late February and Broken Angel: The Lost Years of Gabriel Martiniere, will be released in late April.

Samples of her other fiction can be found at Curious Fictions, and her nonfiction on Substack at either Speculations from the Wide Open Spaces (writing) or Speculations on Politics and Political History (politics). Joyce is a Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off Semifinalist, a Writers of the Future SemiFinalist, and an Anthology Builder Finalist. She is the Secretary of the Northwest Independent Writers Association and a member of Soroptimists International. Find out more about Joyce at her website, Joyce is @JoyceReynoldsW1 on Twitter.

Jo Ladzinski

Jo Ladzinski was born in Poland and currently lives in Chicago as a wordsmith. When they’re not a marketing manager for a major digital publisher, they’re an artist who loves kettlebells, writing, rewriting, bullet journaling, painting, and curling up with their Kindle learning from other authors. They cook gluten-free and listen to mid-naughts European techno and anime soundtracks. They have been a panelist at the 2020 Nebulas Conference and Sirens Conference 2019. You can follow them @joeatsfood on most social media and read their blog.

Jasmine Gower

Jasmine Gower, author of Moonshine and other queer fantasy works, hails from Portland, Oregon. Jasmine received a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Book Publishing from Portland State University.
Inspired to write by a childhood filled with fantasy novels, 90s video games, and the curious experience of growing up in the rural Willamette Valley, Jasmine has a passion for exploring themes of gender, sexuality, and disability through the conventions of speculative fiction, mythology, and fantasy world-building. Jasmine is represented by Laura Zats at Headwater Literary Management. Find her online at:

Jade Benjamin

Jade Benjamin is a Canadian writer and editor who is fiercely in love with language, words, and magical worlds. She is currently working hard to build a freelance writing and editing career around her 9-5 expenses-paying job and loves working on projects that expand her knowledge of story and structure. Jade‘s preferred ambit is speculative secondary world fiction, and her experience with the genre runs the gamut from portal fantasy to sci-fi, with an emphasis on worldbuilding and magic systems. When she isn’t working, writing or editing, Jade can be found reading, keeping up with an inordinate number of podcasts, adopting furry family members and contributing to Weeknight Writers events.

Interested in this event? Sign up today or look at the full event schedule!

More about this event

Plot vs Story: Balancing Action and Emotion is a free panel happening on July 3, 2021 at 2 – 3PM EST, and is part of the larger Exploring Story Structure event on July 3, 2021. The event is sponsored by Renaissance Press, a Canadian publisher dedicated to supporting marginalized authors.

Conference Companion

Conference Companion Cover

Enhance your experience and support Weeknight Writers events by grabbing the Conference Companion workbook for this event. This printable workbook will help you track important information during the Storycrafting Session: Exploring Story Structure. This includes:

  • “Notes” areas for individual panels
  • An area to record overall lessons and feelings about the conference
  • Questions to help you implement lessons from the conference in your writing practice

These worksheets will help you make the most of the Exploring Story Structure event! Proceeds from this workbook will be used to host, manage, and promote future Weeknight Writers events. Buy your copy today!


How much does this event cost?

All panels are free to attend! You won’t spend any money unless you decide to buy the Conference Companion.

How can I participate?

Panels will be run on Zoom using the Webinar function. This means only panelists will be able to share audio and video content. To participate in the Q & A portion of a panel, enter your question in the text chat.

Will there be any additional opportunities to discuss the panel?

There will be dedicated panel channels in the conference Discord. Most panelists will be in these servers for a short period of time after their panel, and attendees are welcome to keep the conversation all day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *