The Published Author

The Knowledge You Need to become a Professional Author

There are three steps to move from passionate amateur to professional writer: Understand how stories get their power to grip your reader, then use your new-found knowledge of story to sell yourself and your story.

You can begin your journey with a special, one-off low price for my online seminars. 

One-Off Earlybird Deal

The Published Author

Want to get published?

More than 500 books are published every day in the UK. And a further 1500 every day in the US. That's 2000 new books. Every day. If you include self-publishing you can add yet another 6000 per day. That's 8000 new books. Every day. Then there's the rest of the world... 

Oh, man. How are you supposed to get any exposure for you and for your book in that clammer for attention? And then another 8000 come out the next day. And the day after that... It's hopeless, right? 

Wrong. How many of those 8000 books are any good? How many make any money. Hmmm. One percent? 80 great books a day that make their author a decent wage?! Nah. Not even close to that many.

So, the GREAT news is that every agent and publisher in the world is desperate to find the professional, productive writer with a fine story, well told. And when one shows up, you stand out like a nugget of gold in the mud.

It's not rocket science. Your job is to make sure your story is top quality and then present yourself and your work in the ideal, professional form. 

Together we will set you up in this space. A space where there is far, far less competition, and where the industry will be very, very pleased to meet you.

The Published Author

Your Guide to Getting Published...

I started our as a novelist and got two traditional publishing deals. I then got a 'hybrid' publishing deal (shared risk), followed by starting my own publishing house - DreamEngine Media Ltd. I have had six agents striking deals around the world, as far afield as China, the USA, South America and Vietnam. 

Most artists make very basic errors in turning their talent and passion into success. I am here to help you avoid the tripwires and design the future you desire for yourself.

Getting Published1

How to Tell YOUR Story YOUR Way

I'm not going to teach you 'how to write'. You already know how to write, and my first advice is to avoid anybody that tries to tell you 'how to write'. A formulaic approach is bending your art out of shape from the first moment. It is far better if your story comes from your heart so you keep ownership and your story keeps its integrity. Every famous writer I've met has that self-confidence and told their own story their way. You must do the same. Be true to yourself. It's the only way to get success.

What am I for, then?! To show you how ALL stories get their power. I'm going to show you the unavoidable principles that lie beneath every story. What I call: The Primary Colours of Story. This is about mastering your craft, not learning a formula.

Most writers have a story or two in them that they can write from instinct and passion. But if you want a career, you can't write that way forever. You have to master the craft of story and that is a simple matter of understanding The Primary Colours. 

You keep ownership of your story. Your story retains its integrity. You gain the knowledge of where your story has power. And when your instincts tell you things aren't right, you can see why, you can problem solve quickly and concisely, turning weaker chapters into new strengths. Here's a big one for later: When the business people come along, they often ask you to make changes, and because you want the deal, you do as they ask. One of the most valuable aspects of mastering your craft is that you will be able to rebuff changes you don't agree with by using story theory to justify and defend the way it is. 

Book sign

Master Your Craft2

The Substance of Story

Knowledge gaps and subtext. The basis of all stories in all genres, media and formats since the dawn of time. 

They say 'knowledge is power', and it could not be more true. We are weak animals. We rely on our knowledge to survive... and knowledge is a function of narrative. Anything you know only makes sense - only has meaning - in a narrative context. When there are gaps in a narrative, the evolutionary self is aroused. A knowledge gap is a trigger. A sign of risk. Danger. Excitement. Opportunity. 

This is the basic tool of the writer. You leave a gap and the reader is fundamentally aroused. The author encodes knowledge gaps into the narration. The reader decodes by projecting knowledge from their own experience into the gaps. It's as simple and as wonderful as that. The knowledge that goes into the gap is called Subtext.

In the first series of videos, using entertaining examples from famous stories, short films and clips, we get to understand linguistics and how stories trigger the mental reflexes we use to make memories. You will understand in simple, intuitive terms why stories exist and how they get their power to grip and engage a human mind.

If you happen to be in advertising or politics you will also learn how stories can be crafted in slightly more insidious ways to plant memories (whether we want them or not...).

The image below is a busy image, but that is ALL of the knowledge gaps writers use in creating every story ever made. That is ALL you have to learn.

Read The Primary Colours of Story. Watch the video seminars. Become a master of story. 

Taxonomy Slide

Getting Published3

Common Story Dynamics

Next we look at the knowledge gap characteristics of the most common story dynamics. Conflict, Morality, The Major Dramatic Arc, Comedy, Aristotle's Principles and much more. All become clear and usable through clips, examples and interactive exercises. 

Take a look at the image below. Did you just turn this static picture into a narrative progression? You just filled in the gaps (with subtext) and created a story in your mind.  

CatBalloon

Master Your Craft4

Character Actions

Characters are central to everything in story. You HAVE to understand character to understand story. This set of videos is a deep-dive into all aspects of understanding character. Motivation, protagonism, antagonism, morality, meaningful conflict, inner and outer arcs, character growth and the six questions you should ask of each of your characters. 

 We also find out how it is that plot and character... follow me carefully now... are one and the same thing... Once you understand that, your story takes on a whole new dimension.

Breaking Bad

Become a published Author5

Ultimate Power - The Storification Dynamic

The author frames and orientates the audience, the characters interact in real-time in their story world, the receiver interprets the narrative, fills the gaps with subtext and creates meaning in mind through storification

Storification is the secret. It sounds complicated, but you will get it immediately... because you do it all the time in your everyday life. And by using classic stories, short films and lots of well-known story examples you will fully understand how it works - both in your mind and from there on the mind of your reader. From here we start to think about using this ultimate power dynamic to make a story development process based on genuine knowledge of where the power in any particular story lies.  

Note how this differs from traditional story theory. Instead of talking about inciting incidents and turning points and spirit guides in order that you can force your story into a preset structure, we are recognising that the power of a story lies in what your content means to the receiver.

Story is NOT about structure. Story is NOT about formula. Story is all about the psychology in the conversation between an author and a receiver. The work the receiver has to do to build your story for themselves in mind. That is a story's real powerbase... and it is crafted into place by the skill of the author. That's YOU.

Blocks

Master Your Craft6

The Story Development Process

My seminars are not all theory. Following conversations with some very famous names in story, I developed my formal work into a set of tools and methods for writers. Names like novelist, Lee Child (Jack Reacher books); Theatre legend Willy Russell (Blood Brothers; Shirley Valentine...); Actor Mark Williams (the Harry Potter films; Shakespeare in Love...); TV comedy writer, John Sullivan (Only Fools and Horses); Hollywood film writer/producer, Bob Gale (Back to the Future trilogy), pictured below; oh, and Managing Director of Summersdale publishing Stewart Ferris. DB and Bob Gale

So, not only is my knowledge gap theory the most advanced understanding of story in the world today, it is also proven in story development in the real world. Money where mouth is, right?! You can follow the documented creation of my film story, Bella, in which I take you on the full story development process, from the first seed of the idea to the final glorious production. You will see the original idea, the development of the step outline, the final script coming to life. You will gain EXCLUSIVE access to the finished film itself and you will get a FREE book containing the step outline and developers' notes.

I will be doing the same thing for further projects, including writing a novel online and developing a feature film, entitled Mayakin, from first principles to a London Premiere on the silver screen. You will get to ride along the whole way and you may even be able to contribute or win a prize, such as to be an extra in the film or attend the premiere. Exciting stuff, right?! 

Bella Cover

The published author7

Wearing the Salesman's Hat

You are on Twitter. And Facebook. And Instagram. Do they bring you sales? Profile? Anything?! Nope. 

Sure, you blogged for a while, but even though you got some decent numbers showing up there... nothing much seems to come of it.

You have got a website... It doesn't do much for you though, right?

Why does none of this convert into anything useful?!  

It's hard. I get it. It all does nothing, you don't want to do it anyway, so what's the point?! You didn't go into writing to be in sales. But you know you must do something.

The problems is, we artists don't like or understand marketing. We hate to be 'sold to' so why would be ever want to become the guy doing the selling?

I'm going to teach you marketing in a way that is fascinating. That makes sense. That works. That you can work with.

I've created methods for you to market yourself effectively, with great impact, for minimal effort, and using something you do love doing. Story. 

In these sessions, we will use our new superpower - storytelling - and our knowledge of where the power of a story lies, to create powerful and effective marketing capability in the way you package and sell yourself and your product.

You. Are turning pro. 

RocketSales

master your craft8

We're in This Together

There will be opportunities to get involved in real-time sessions of various types; such as:

Each month you will have the opportunity to join me on a live Q&A to discuss all things story and writing. I look forward to getting to know you and answering any questions you have. 

There will be giveaways and competitions with prizes including seats at a premiere, visits to a film set, free books and resources, a copyrighting service and much more. 

I look forward to welcoming you to my inner circle, and to developing your career together.

let's get you and your stories on to that red carpet.

David 

Author

DreamEngine Publishing

The dream is a story

DreamEngine Header

Book Submissions 

We are currently not accepting submissions to the DreamEngine. Please check back regularly to be right on the ball when the doors open again, or ask me about it at the monthly live Q&A in the members' area. 

DreamEngine is Hiring! 

We are on the lookout for a publishing intern to work with us to learn all aspects of a publishing house. We are based in the south of the UK, but you can work remotely from anywhere to accept this role.

If you are interested in working for the DreamEngine, get in touch via the 'contact' page and let's have a chat.  

Books

For the most cost-effective route to understanding story, I recommend you read The Story Book and The Primary Colours of Story. (Story in Mind is academic - it is the book of my Ph.D. research).  

Note that although I appear to focus on film and television in my story theory books, this is purely because there are classic films and TV shows I can use for story examples that most have seen, a ready made set of terms and definitions from film and theatre that are universally understood and, of course, visual examples work far better in seminars and on a website.

Rest assured, what you will learn applies just as validly to books, theatre and radio as it does to any other medium. 

Also note that because I do not know where you are, I do not provide links to purchase my books. All are available from your favourite store wherever you are in the world. 

PCOS Book Cover

The flagship masterwork of a career in story consultancy

The course text for everything on this website, The Primary Colours of Story (2020) is the result of two decades of work as an author, screenwriter, producer, story consultant, Ph.D. researcher and public speaker. There is simply no more advanced understanding of how stories work available anywhere on the planet today.  

"I found this book, to be excellent. Baboulene has managed to arrive at a complete understanding of the composition of Story, and then to break it down and explain it in such a way so that anyone else is able to understand it, too. I now look at the writing process in a whole new way, and it's already having a positive outcome. Thank you, Dr. Baboulene." (Amazon Review)

The Story Book cover

Over 100 x 5-star (average) Reviews on Amazon.

My global bestseller has even been translated into Chinese. It is a more entry-level, accessible view of story theory, best for those gaining their first understanding, but with the advanced material given through my breakthroughs in knowledge gaps and subtext. 

"Thank you for writing this book. I can't tell you how good it feels to finally UNDERSTAND!!!!!!! I mean every exclaimation point." (JerseyT - USA)

 

Story Theory Cover

Putting it in a Nutshell

If I am ever going to get tempted towards a formula, this book is it. It is a short work, musing on the most powerful and compelling of the knowledge gap types and showing how they can all be drawn together into one story.  

It isn't so much of a formula as a toolbox for you to draw your own method out of yourself, which worked perfectly for this reviewer:  

"The real gift is that David provides a definition of story which is both elegant and powerful. As someone who grapples with understanding and applying narrative concepts, it has been hugely illuminating. There are many books out there offering a formula for structuring a story - this is one of the only ones that goes deep enough to help you create your own formula." (Adam, UK)

Story in Mind

"A Revolution in Narratology."

Story in Mind (2019) is the book version of my 2017 Ph.D. thesis, presenting the psychological and linguistic foundations to how stories work. This is for you if you are looking for formally supported narratology, probably within an academic context. 

The thesis proposes a shift in the foundations of narratology from their traditional structuralist basis to a constructivist premise, and it is this that provides a whole new approach to understanding story that is based upon how the mind works. 

"Strong, clear, valid and well-argued. Congratulations, David."

Thomas Pavel
Professor of Narratology
Univesity of Chicago

 

A few more...

You want to go on to Amazon and see reviews like these for your books, right? I won't lie - it's a wonderful feeling. Let me help you get there.

Bella Cover

Money Where Mouth is...

I used my principles to make a film. From the first seeds of an idea I derived some basic knowledge gaps and made a story that confounds all the Hollywood formula 'imperatives'. It is a story without conflict, or dialogue, not even a bad guy. It just storifies beautifully.

This short book is my development process for you to read, with critically important knowledge on how you can use a Step Outline. Read the book and the step outline, and then you can watch the short film that results (Bella, 2020). 

We will be doing this again in the coming year but with a full length novel and feature film.  

Review: "I'm amazed at how quickly it helped me to write - yes I started to write - the first few steps and outline of a story - with the thought of the audience in mind. I'm amazed. So grateful. The book proved to be such an unexpectedly excellent tool. I'm a complete beginner and I had felt overwhelmed! Thank you." Neil James

Ocean Boulevard

Can a Story Consultant Actually Tell a Story?

Very proud of my first published work, the first in a two-book deal with a traditional publishing house. Humorous tales from my adventures travelling the world and working on ships. Makes a great gift! 

Review: "This is far and away one of the funniest books I have ever read. The author is a comic genius."

And: "This is an entertaining book by a writer who has a good eye, a gift for narrative, and the comedic writing talent of P.G. Wodehouse.

Jumping Ships

Apparently he Can...

Interestingly for writers - this second book in the series outsells the first, because the title and cover design are stronger. Ask me about this when we have a Q&A. 

Review: "Jumping Ships", like its predecessor "Ocean Boulevard" is a side-splitting, laugh-out-loud, fall-over-on-the-floor, lose-your-dignity, lie-on-your-back-and-stamp-your-feet howler that will divest you of snobby literary pretensions and expose you as an artless child losing his mind in sheer merriment.

Baboulene should be prescribed instead of Prozac. He'd be far more effective, although possibly as habit forming." Andrew (USA)

Literally a One-Time Opportunity at this Price

Most 'experts' charge hundreds for a single seminar, making themselves an elite exclusive for only those that can afford it. My aim is to use the power of the web to give access to as many people as possible and therefore to keep bringing the price DOWN. 

You are one of my first customers, so here is your opportunity to get access at this experimentally low entry price.

Look at it like this: At this price, it would take you SIX MONTHS in my inner circle to spend as much as it would cost you for a single seminar with Robert McKee. And my material is more advanced, contemporary, multi-media and interactive. Value. Right there.

In future, prices may have to go up for newcomers. However, I will make you two promises: Firstly, as one of my first customers, whatever happens, your price will never go up. Secondly, if things go well, I promise to bring your price down.

So do please take advantage, join me now and let's get you on the road to story success.

Get Earlybird Offer

The Professional Author - Video Series

Launch Your Career

What you receive:

  • The full suite of seminars that comprise The Primary Colours of Story.
  • You will become a master of story theory.
  • Explains the step outline and strategies for the reality of story development.
  • Includes bonus seminars to learn how professional writers work day-to-day.
  • Learn how to package and market yourself and your stories.
  • Includes access to exclusive material, including the Bella story development process, scripts and the film itself, Bella.
  • Includes access to the ongoing story development process for the novel and feature film story: Mayakin.
  • Extras, such as a copyright service, discounts on products, monthly live Q&A session with David and other story creatives.
  • Freebies, giveaways and surprises...

And much, much more. All at this one-off, all-time low price.


$75.00 $199.00

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Don't be an also-ran. One of those who looks back and wishes they'd done more. Set yourself apart on the basis of quality and professionalism and get the success you desire. 

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