Storytelling

How to Craft a Character-Driven Story

Lady Macbeth telling her husband what's what.

Some stories focus on big external conflicts to drive them and use a relatively blank protagonist as the audience’s vessel. But others try to make the protagonist as vivid as possible, trusting them to drive the story. The character has some intense desire or critical … read more »

Five Tips for Telling Prequel Stories

Obi-Wan, Jar Jar, and Qui-Gon from Phantom Menace.

Prequel stories have a reputation for being terrible, and it’s well deserved. The Star Wars prequels, which are awful in almost every way, come to mind of course. Not to be left out, the Harry Potter franchise now has Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find … read more »

Depicting Child Characters

Portraying child characters can be one of the biggest challenges of storytelling. Even though many of us are around children regularly, kids vary so much by age, development rate, and individual experience that it can be easy to pigeonhole them or simply get them wrong. … read more »

Five Characters With Too Much Spinach

Harry Kim looking puzzled as he is shot.

No, this is not an article about Popeye the Sailor Man.* Rather, spinach is anything that humiliates a character or tarnishes their image as a cool badass in the audience’s eyes. It can take the form of a character failing to save their loved one, getting … read more »

The Why & How of Character Motivation

A critical part of developing any character is giving them motivation. Unfortunately, that’s not always as simple as it seems. The motivation has to be compelling and believable while working with the story at large. Let’s talk more about motivation and how you can get it … read more »

Six Common Problems in Short Stories

While they may not get the fame and prestige of their cousin the novel, short stories* are a vital part of speculative fiction. Some of spec fic’s most important and influential work comes in the form of short stories, from venerable classics like The Yellow … read more »

Five Ways to Hide Your Foreshadowing

An orange butterfly camouflaged amongst orange leaves

Foreshadowing is an essential tool for making plot twists and other reveals in a story work. But if the storyteller isn’t careful, foreshadowing can give the ending away. These five methods will reduce the chance of your audience catching on too quickly. Read more »

88 – Portraying AI

The Mythcreant Podcast

This week, Oren downloads two new minds into the podcast: Rhys and Elly. These disembodied voices claim they were once human, but who can say in a world where memories can be written like software? Together, the (mostly) human co-hosts discuss how to depict AI on … read more »