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Anatomy of a Premise Line

If a story is going to fail, it will first do so at the premise level. Anatomy of a Premise Line is the only book of its kind on the market today that deals with the critical issues of story and premise development with the depth and clarity required by today's storytellers. This is a must-have read for any novelist, screenwriter, or creative nonfiction author, not to mention anyone who works with writers or consults in the publishing or entertainment industries.

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13 Minutes

One room. Six People. No way out. And every 13 minutes one of them dies—horribly—unless they can figure out what their nameless, faceless, and creepily mysterious captor wants from them. One woman holds the key to their survival or deaths. But, only if she faces her own bloody past and the earth-shattering truth of why they are all trapped together. Her final choice to own the truth can bring freedom or oblivion—13 little minutes will tell the tale—for all of humanity.

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Book 1 of the Jack Be Dead Series

Jack Tate, a desolate British Detective Sergeant, hunts a rare female serial killer in London who's killing guys named "Jack" all over the city. DS Tate must unravel the killer’s taunting clues, until a devastating revelation forces Jack to face a centuries old truth about himself, or die trying. Karma is a bitch, and then you die—if you’re lucky.

Book 2 of the Jack Be Dead Series

After experiencing a life-changing revelation, and finding himself the target of a serial killer out to make things personal, Detective Sergeant Jack Tate races to save lives as a supernatural mystery that reaches from his past lives to destroy everything. Jack's next moves reveal there's more at stake than his life.

Book 3 of the Jack Be Dead Series

With his reputation in ruins, Detective Sergeant Jack Tate is manipulated by a serial killer bent on his final destruction. DS Tate goes on the offensive to uncover the real reason for his persecutor's retribution, until he faces the karmic truth that everyone’s lives—past, future, and present—hang in the balance. Jack's final choice will last an eternity.

The Abbess

Medieval Europe—9th Century—Two woman, one a powerful abbess, the other a young nun with a talent for impersonating priests find themselves in an uneasy and potentially deadly alliance as they navigate the treacherous worlds of papal politics, the Holy Roman Emperor's court, and their own personal agendas for love and power.

Rapid Story Development is the only book that unites the power of story development principles and the Enneagram system to create one of the most powerful methodologies out there for developing any story. Published by Focal Press.

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Heroes and Villains, Building Genres, and Allies and Accomplices are three companion books that will add to the already powerful story development toolset provided by their parent book Rapid Story Development.

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Every character in a story has a purpose--learn how to assure all your characters contribute to the story, rather than add dead weight.

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The "moral component" of any story is the most important idea you can learn as a writer and can make or break any story. Learn how to find your moral premise.

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Bust the myth of "writer's block" once and for all. Real or imagined, learn the 7-step process for busting "writer's block" and free your writing process.

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Praise for Anatomy of a Premise Line

"Working with Jeff reminds me of a quote from Michelangelo, 'I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.' Jeff’s tools have helped me develop solid premise and log lines, and to chisel my stories free from the stone. This book will help you do the same.”

Michael Perri Staff Writer, NBC’s - State of Affairs

“After reading Jeff’s terrific book I felt like rushing to my desk, new tools in hand, and fixing all my unsold screenplays. I highly recommend to anyone writing a screenplay or novel.”

Nick Castle Writer/Director, Escape From New York, Hook, August Rush, Last Star Fighter, The Boy Who Could Fly, Tap, Dennis the Menace

“Before, I used to write myself into a corner, but thanks to Jeff Lyons' premise tools now I can see my story’s structure from the outside, to see what's working and what could be stronger. This book will help you draw a map through the story forest, rather than getting lost in the trees. I've used this material with my students with the same beneficial effect as with my own writing. I highly recommend this book.”

Malena Watrous Author, If You Follow Me—Head Instructor Stanford University Online Writers Studio

“There is no book like this in the marketplace. It will help writers, producers, and directors, and save everyone from wasted time writing drafts to find a story. I wish I had this book when I was in film school.”

David Jeffery Producer, Fox’s - Bones, PBS’s – American Family, Lesson Plan


“This is a book for which many of us have been waiting, and if you are at all like me, incorporating Jeff's ideas and guidance into your work can make all the difference.” 

Barnet Bain Producer, What Dreams May Come— Writer/Producer, The Celestine Prophecy

"Story structure changed my writing life, and the magician who taught it to me was Jeff Lyons. Every writer on the planet needs coffee, chocolate, and this book!"

Caroline Leavitt New York Times/USA Today bestselling author – Is This Tomorrow, Pictures of You



Jeff Lyons is a published author, screenwriter, editor, and story development consultant with more than 25 years' experience in the film, television, and publishing industries. He has worked with literally thousands of novelists, nonfiction authors, and screenwriters helping them build and tell better stories.

Jeff is an instructor through Stanford University's Online Writer’s Studio, University of California at Riverside's Extension Program, and is a regular guest lecturer through the UCLA Extension Writers Program. He is a regular presenter at leading writing and entertainment industry trade conferences, as well as a contributor and advisor to leading entertainment industry screenwriting and producing fellowship programs, such as the Producers Guild of American's "Power of Diversity Producing Workshop," and the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab. Jeff is also a regular guest blogger on major writing industry blog sites like Script Magazine and Stage32.com. Over the years, he has been a trusted story development consultant to many indie producers, produced screenwriters, production companies, and VR and new media content developers.

Jeff has written on the craft of storytelling for Writer’s Digest Magazine, Script Magazine, The Writer Magazine, and Writing Magazine (UK). His book, Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise and Story Development for Writing Success, is the only book available devoted solely to the topic of story and premise development for novelists, screenwriters, and creative nonfiction authors. His other book, Rapid Story Development: How to Use the Enneagram-Story Connection to Become a Master Storyteller, will be published by Focal Press in late 2017.

In addition to his nonfiction work, Jeff is the author of 13 Minutes, a sci-fi-horror novella, and co-author (with Stephen David Brooks) of the Jack Be Dead Series, the first volume of which was published on Amazon in March 2016, Jack Be Dead: Revelation. These, and his other genre fiction work, are published through Storygeeks Press.