Romance

Writing

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 »

Commentary

Why the Surprise Kiss Must Go

Korra surprises Mako with a kiss

A while back, I made a list of creepy things we oughta stop romanticizing. In response I got mostly nods all around, except for one item: the surprise kiss. Unlike everything else, people kept defending it. Rather than arguing with every commenter, I decided to expand on why … read more »

Storytelling

Six Unrealistic Tropes and How to Avoid Them

Tropes get repeated over and over again throughout spec fic, and usually that’s fine. Many tropes are perfectly acceptable. Others are just lazy writing, sacrificing believability for narrative convenience. We’re concerned with the second group today. Fear not, there’s always a way out, no matter … read more »

Storytelling

Six Plot Excuses No One Wants to Hear

When storytellers are cornered by a tough plot problem, our first instinct is to ignore the problem by making our characters behave irrationally. Then we use character dialogue to handwave it and hope the audience doesn’t notice how unrealistic it is. Just take these six excuses. Read more »

Storytelling

How to Get Fans to Slash Your Characters

Did you know you can inspire a passionate fanbase who will spend countless hours creating free advertising material for your story? And that those same people will then post their advertising – for free – in public places online where even more passionate fans will see it? Read more »

Storytelling

Removing the Creeps From Romance

For as long as we can remember, storytellers have depicted idealized romances that would translate to abusive, unhealthy relationships in real life. Now audiences are starting to catch on, and anyone who wants their story to last has to update old conventions. Read more »

Commentary

Seven Epic Fan Romance Battles

Here I’ll explore the philosophical paradigm that overlays our understanding of how synergistic behaviors are maintained in an ethical society. Just kidding. This is about fans, known as shippers, that really want non-existent people to get it on. Read more »