Commentary

Six Bad Arguments Against Social Justice in Speculative Fiction

Judy and Nick from Zootopia talking to a sltoh.

The only thing more annoying than arguing with a sloth.

Watching the diverse casting of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the amazing intersectionality of Zootopia, it feels like we’re finally making progress on the front of social justice in storytelling. People are realizing that stories and the lessons they teach mean something. But no matter how much progress we make, some naysayers will try to hold us back. They make the same arguments over and over again about how social justice is bad or just doesn’t belong in storytelling. Fortunately, they’re wrong, and knowing their arguments in advance will help you explain why. From YouTube comments to uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinners, these are six of the most common arguments people make against putting social justice in stories. Read more »

Storytelling

Five Ways to Restore Tension

Shadow outside door

Getting your audience to the finish line requires bait at every step. That bait is the tension created by your opening plot hooks – problems that need solving or questions that haven’t been answered. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for that tension to drop in the lulls between high-conflict scenes. When it … read more »

Writing

Seven Common Causes of Reader Confusion

reader-outside

Confusion makes it impossible for readers to enjoy a story, and the unique elements of speculative fiction make it especially prone to confusion. Not only that, but because stories always make sense to their writers, head-scratching moments are difficult to eliminate without outside help. But don’t give up … read more »