Inspiration

Six Subversive Heroes for Stand Out Stories

Today’s popular stories pick most of their heroes from the same narrow group of people, reinforcing destructive stereotypes and stripping characters of interesting variation. But storytellers get a silver lining: we have an easy opportunity to make our heroes stand apart by subverting convention. To get started, take some worthy people who … read more »

Storytelling

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 »

Analysis

Seven Protagonists With Terrible Motivations

Captain Archer with his hear to his cabin floor.

A character’s motivation is central to who they are. You could say it’s what motivates them.* Without it, characters won’t do the hard work a plot requires of them. Motivation is especially important to protagonists. If the main character doesn’t have a strong motivation, readers will have nothing to … read more »

Writing

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 »

Writing

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 »