Five Common Pitfalls For Stories With Deep Ideas

Starfleet and Klingon ships facing off in Star Trek: Discovery

Where are your Federation ideals now that the murderous space cannibals are here?

Storytellers love to add deep ideas to their works. A well-crafted adventure tale is fun in the moment, but it’s the thoughtful piece on the nature of human existence that will be remembered. This is a healthy instinct, and audiences do love a deep idea presented in a complete and thoughtful manner. However, audiences also hold such stories to a higher standard. A story of superheroes punching each other in the name of great justice can be enjoyed despite its errors, but mistakes in a piece about what it means to be mortal are grating indeed.

It would be impossible to count the number of ways a deep idea story can go wrong, but some pop up again and again, with neophytes and veterans alike. They are the first obstacle a storyteller must be on the lookout for when crafting a story to blow the audience’s mind.

Read more »


Human Factor

A mothership in front of Earth

Major Sanja Khan fought the feeling that she’d been reduced to a weak, insignificant piece of herself. Disconnected from her craft during critical repairs, her own flesh and bones seemed alien. Her vision narrowed to her front side, making her back prickle as though something were creeping up behind her. Her thoughts were limited by the speed of electrochemical reactions, hazy and sluggish. Read more »


When to Narrate a Villain’s Point of View

Through a doorway, Barty Crouch Jr kneels by Voldemort's char

Most writers know that their important protagonists should have the lion’s share of viewpoint scenes. However, some stories need another point of view to communicate information the protagonists don’t know. Often, that point of view comes from the primary antagonist. Unfortunately, using a villain’s point … read more »