Storytelling

Seven Ways to Use Consequences in Stories

Krampus teaches Dr. Venture that sometimes the wicked are actually punished for their ways.

Krampus teaches Dr. Venture that sometimes the wicked are actually punished for their ways.

When characters fail, either through negligence or action, their failure matters little if there are no consequences. The consequences may affect the characters directly or the people around them, but they have to be tangible and meaningful to bring anything to the plot. Consequences can enrich stories in a number of ways.

Read more »

Roleplaying

How to Evaluate a Roleplaying Game

Which of these is the best, and how can you tell?

I’ve spoken before about what makes a setting good for roleplaying, and I’ve reviewed a number of roleplaying systems here on the blog, so it’s time to lay out what makes the system itself good or bad. While each system is a unique snowflake, several factors … read more »

Storytelling

Creating Your Villain’s Journey

The Operative from Serenity holding up his sword

Most character arcs are intended for protagonists, and viewpoint characters in particular. But a story can be greatly enhanced by giving arcs to other major characters – including the main villain. Unfortunately, villain arcs can be tricky. The audience rarely sympathizes with the big bad, … read more »

Writing

Five Tips for Giving Developmental Feedback

A painting of monks working on illuminated manuscripts.

Developmental editing is big-picture editing. Dev editors rarely look at grammar, punctuation, or even awkward sentence structure.* Instead, dev editors look at issues like plot structure, character consistency, and whether the climax fulfills all the promises the author made earlier in the story. While test readers … read more »

Storytelling

Ten Easy Jokes for Your Dialogue

Buffy looks at the mirror and sticks out her tongue

Humor can be hard to master because it’s so subjective, but it’s not an ephemeral mist that can’t be defined. Many methods of adding humor are easy to understand and use. Let’s go over some jokes that are simple to include in character interactions. Read more »