Writing

Lessons From the Sloppy Writing of The Tommyknockers

Shadow of person in green glowing woods

It’s time to tear apart The Tommyknockers, written by the venerable Stephen King and published in 1987. In his long and prolific history of writing, King has both gems and duds. Even within a work, his improvised storytelling technique tends to turn out both brilliant moments … read more »

101 – Character Description

The Mythcreant Podcast

The protagonist appeared in the doorway, dressed in a magnificent golden helm and with cerulean eyes shining fiercely. If something about that sounds a little cheesy to you, then you’ll be happy to hear that we’re spending this episode talking about character descriptions. Joined again … read more »

Choosing Your Story’s Perspective

A large sculpture mimicking a scene with distance

The choice of perspective has important ramifications for a story. The best perspective will be the one that reinforces the goals of the story, matches the writer’s skill set, and feels invisible to the audience. I’ll describe the different factors involved in a story’s perspective and how they are likely to … read more »

Mastering Evocative Telling

close up of an ent

The old adage “show; don’t tell” is great advice for new writers. But with practice, writers can master many creative techniques that depart from standard showing. Evocative telling is one of those techniques, and it can add a lot to a story. 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 »

Striking an End Note That Resonates

Man walks toward glowing open doors of castle

Writers frequently obsess over their opening paragraph, hoping to make a great first impression. But the last impression also matters. It sets the mood that the reader walks away with, giving it a disproportionate impact on how they feel about the story or whether or not they recommend it … read more »

Lessons From Twilight vs Fifty Shades

Twilight vs Fifty Shades of Grey

We’ve dissected the first chapters of terrible novels and great ones.* We’ve looked at entire short stories, and now I’ll kick it up a notch. I’m going to pit two books against each other in a battle to the DEATH! No, I’m not sure how a book … read more »