Oren Ashkenazi

Oren is a grumpy old man whose physical age hasn’t quite caught up with him, at least that’s what the kids who won’t get off his lawn keep saying. He’s been into roleplaying games since he was knee-high to a d10, and into prose writing for nearly as long. He loves stories and games that push the envelope of storytelling, like the Discworld series and the RPG Primetime Adventures. He’s also a huge Star Trek fan, though his rants on the mistakes of Voyager and Enterprise might make you think otherwise.

Q&A

How Can I Justify a World Without Colonialism?

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Hi, it’s me again! History buffs: What do you think of this? Demons (more monster- than villain-like) have made sparse attacks on humanity since forever, and all cultures have had mages to defend themselves. However, in the thirteenth century, there was a massive surge of … read more »

Analysis

Five Characters With Strong Arcs

Character arcs come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they fade seamlessly into the plot, but other times the characters go through major changes and become different people by the end. Both types of arc are valid, but it’s the second category we’re looking at … read more »

Analysis

Six Unsatisfying Character Arcs

Anakin looking out from under his hood with his yellow eyes in Revenge of the Sith.

Character arcs form the backbone of many a story. A successful upward arc fills the audience with fuzzy warmth, while a well-crafted downward arc delivers powerful pathos. But not all arcs are put together well. When a character’s change is rushed or unjustified, it often … read more »

Q&A

How Should I Alternate Action Scenes?

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Hi! Very general question on plotting, but… is there anything in particular one should think of when alternating between calmer parts of a novel and more action-filled parts? I’ve really tried to take all the advice on how every chapter should have conflict etc., and … read more »