Storytelling

Transform a Hero Into a Villain in Seven Steps

Darth Vader

No character arcs are fumbled more frequently than those that send good characters down dark roads. That’s probably because it’s difficult for us to grasp how someone could become evil. However, when these arcs are done well, they are incredibly powerful. Read more »

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. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for that tension to drop in the lulls between high-conflict scenes. Use these techniques to insert more tempting bait during those low points. Read more »

Five Ways to Make People Hate a Hero

Captain Hammer

Making people hate a character who kicks puppies or steals from the downtrodden is simple. But what if you want your audience to dislike someone woven from stronger moral fiber? Perhaps your story has a villain protagonist and a heroic antagonist, much like Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Or maybe you’d … read more »

77 – Time Travel

The Mythcreant Podcast

Technically we’re all time travelers, moving forward at a rate of one second per second. That’s boring time travel though; let’s talk about the interesting stuff where doctors with bow ties hang out with medieval knights. This week we discuss good and bad uses of … read more »

Three Painless Ways to Patch Plot Holes

Sewing a patch

Your test audience is up in arms about something unbelievable in your story, but you don’t want to make big changes. Maybe your entire story depends on a lie they can’t swallow, you’re in production and it’s too late for an overhaul, or your story would be … read more »

Seven Great Sources of Conflict for Romances

Tristan and Yvaine from Stardust tied back to back

If the two lovebirds are meant for each other, why don’t they just hook up? This question has vexed countless storytellers and lead to a plethora of bad romance tropes. But as the romance genre shows, this question has many wonderful answers. Get your imagination going with these seven. Read more »

Defeating the Contrivance Bogeyman

Old woman booing Buttercup in the Princess Bride

One of the most common bogeymen in storytelling is contrivance. A contrivance is a break in believability that calls attention to the goals of the storyteller. When the audience encounters one, they stop watching the marionettes in your puppet show and instead stare at the hands that move … read more »

Four Tips for Depicting Characters With Disabilities

Geordi from Star Trek: TNG at a poker table

Many storytellers are intimidated by including a diverse cast in their stories, not just because they know little about other groups, but because the stakes are so high. That’s why questions like Sarai’s are common: In a historical setting, or a world where not much is known … read more »