Storytelling

Understanding Character Karma

Lady Justice sits with her sword, holding up her scales

Character karma is a useful concept that helps us understand how to craft stories that are engaging and satisfying. While I’ve mentioned the concept in many other places, it’s overdue for a full article on the ways it affects our stories. First, what is character … read more »

What Makes Stories Go Viral

spreading virus

Not everything that goes viral is a picture with a funny caption. Fiction also spreads on such social media sites as Facebook and Tumblr. I’ve been analyzing viral stories as I’ve seen them, and I’d like to report back to all the interested writers out there. But before … read more »

Five Underused Character Archetypes

Storytellers love character archetypes. They feel ancient and symbolic, and they’re just fun to play with. A while back, we mentioned some archetypes we think stories are usually better without. To banish the rain on our archetype parade, here’s five we want to see more … read more »

Giving Your Hero Sympathetic Problems

Making your protagonist a relatable underdog is a great way to encourage your audience to bond with them. Unfortunately, it’s easy for this effort to go wrong. Instead of feeling sympathy for your hero, the audience might think your character is whiny and unpleasant. The narration … read more »

Five Tips for Creating an Engaging Space Battle

Space battles are an important aspect of science fiction, especially space opera, and we want them to be engaging. At first blush, that might sound easy. Space battles have hyperdrives and torpedoes and lasers, oh my. How could that not be engaging? But it’s harder than you … read more »

Five Types of Disastrous Reveals

Amon from Legend of Korra

A great reveal can be sublime. Unfortunately, this has storytellers chasing after the perfect reveal even when their story would be better off without it. Reveals have to be set up just right to work, and some information is too critical to be withheld until … read more »

Where Should I Start My Story?

questions and answer talk bubbles

My main characters are part of secret government unit that goes after supernatural threats to America. Should I start the story with the new members being training? Or should I start with them being assigned to the unit and have flashbacks to the training to show how they’ve become friends, etc.? Read more »

Six Types of Turning Points for Climaxes

Katniss and Peta contemplate eating poisonous berries

Most storytellers know that the climax should be more exciting than the rest of the story. However, many don’t know that climaxes need a critical turning point. Neglecting this turning point is one of the most common mistakes that writers make, and without it, endings … read more »