Analysis

Five Strong Characters From Terrible Shows

Some TV shows are just bad. They might have inconsistent writing, terrible special effects, lousy acting, or all three! But sometimes, a character stands out from these awful shows, a shining diamond of good storytelling in the rough of mediocrity. These characters rise above the … read more »

Storytelling

Twelve Traits for a Lovable Hero

A hero the audience loves is a critical ingredient in our stories. Unfortunately, liking the character yourself is no guarantee of audience attachment. To help a diverse array of people love your hero, give your protagonist some traits that are widely likable. Starting your story by demonstrating … read more »

Inspiration

Five Underused Settings in Spec Fic

Speculative fiction has a wide variety of settings, genres, and subgenres, and some get more attention than others. Space opera and European high fantasy have been the top dogs for decades, with up-and-comers like urban fantasy and steampunk taking most of what’s left. But there … read more »

Commentary

Six Tips for Challenging Bigotry With Your Work

Storytelling has a long legacy of fighting for justice, and speculative fiction is no exception. Franchises like Star Trek and Discworld have challenged the way people think and demanded that society improve. When it feels like the path to justice has been lost, many storytellers fight back with their … read more »

Roleplaying

Blue Rose Is a Neat Setting With a Boring System

A queen on the cover of Blue Rose.

Blue Rose is a roleplaying game in the romantic-fantasy genre. What is romantic fantasy you ask? Blue Rose describes it as fantasy with a more optimistic and open-minded outlook than traditional high fantasy or sword and sorcery.* Relationships are very important in this subgenre, though … read more »

Analysis

Five Cases of Unfulfilled Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is used to either make something more believable or to increase tension. In the former, the foreshadowing makes it seem more likely that something might happen. In the latter, it makes the reader worry that something might happen. But what if that something never happens, … read more »