November, 2017

Storytelling

Five Common Problems With Dark Stories

Dark stories are very popular these days, and it’s not difficult to see why. They have several advantages over their lighter cousins, and not just because of swearing and violence. It’s easier to craft a high-stakes plot in darker stories because you can put more on … read more »

Writing

A Complete Guide to Beta Reading

Hands with pen marking up paper

Most writers rely on one or more beta readers to help them improve their work. In the right circumstances, beta reading is an invaluable tool. Unfortunately, it’s so full of potential pitfalls, it can weaken stories rather than improve them. Here’s what you should know … read more »

Analysis

Five Stories That Violate Their Own Conceit

No story can perfectly mirror reality, especially stories with lots of speculative elements. Sometimes, for a story to work, the audience must accept certain conceits. In X-Men, we accept that mutants are persecuted for their powers, even though in real life they’d be rock stars. In … read more »

Storytelling

Liberating Over-Burdened Stories

red car that's been crushed by huge rock

Even the longest novel series only has so much room for content. The length of a story not only limits the number of scenes but also how complex the story can be. Backstory, characters, plot twists, and a unique world all add to a story’s … read more »