Storytelling

How to Use the Uncanny in Your Writing

A hand with all of the fingers the same length. Eye whites that aren’t white. Seeing a stranger in the mirror. A subtler cousin of horror, the uncanny is more about discomfort than fear. Sigmund Freud* described it as, in greatly paraphrased form here, making … read more »

Planning Super Light Stories

A girl sites among a field of tiny houses with tiny elves.

For years now, studios and publishers have produced grimdark story after grimdark story. The backlash to this is already building, but the rain of violent, soul-sucking, haunted, gritty, ebony realism keeps pouring down. So if you’re looking for a trend that might still be relevant … read more »

Six Mistakes That Can Kill a Great Plot

Crafting a great plot is no easy feat. You need compelling stakes, a likable main character, an urgent problem, and so much more. Fortunately, we have a lot of advice on Mythcreants about how to build just such a plot. But once you have your … read more »

Six Common Storytelling Problems in New Manuscripts

Kingpin standing in front of several microphones.

In my capacity as a content editor, I read a lot of manuscripts.* While storytelling problems are infinitely myriad and complex, I’ve noticed a handful that pop up over and over again. These issues sometimes even make it to publication, but they’re especially common in new … read more »

How Do I Involve the Main Character in the Plot?

questions and answer talk bubbles

In my current concept, I have a “steampunk” world that is centered around class-based slave labor, in which “modern” ideologies about freedom either never happened (history splits about 1600-1700 AD) or are severely suppressed by the established powers. As an “extreme” amateur, I do not … read more »

A Field Guide to Six Infectious YA Clichés

Dear YA novelists of all shapes and sizes: there is an infestation spreading through the ranks of our beloved genre. Distorted by centuries* of grotesque overexposure and abhorrent inescapability, these clichés have wormed their way into even the best-intentioned novels. Watch out! They may be … read more »

Five Essentials for an Opening Scene

Liz 10 defending a young child from The Beast Below.

The opening scene is one of the most crucial in your novel. It has to engage readers while introducing the most important aspects of the story. I know that’s a lot, so let’s go over the five big things you need for a good opening … read more »