Storytelling

Six Clichés to Watch Out For

Clichés are tricky things. They sneak into our writing when we least expect it. You open up your manuscript for editing and discover to your horror that you’ve written a Chosen One story! On the subject of clichés, Ethan Fletcher sent us this question: What … read more »

Six Unrealistic Tropes and How to Avoid Them

Tropes get repeated over and over again throughout spec fic, and usually that’s fine. Many tropes are perfectly acceptable. Others are just lazy writing, sacrificing believability for narrative convenience. We’re concerned with the second group today. Fear not, there’s always a way out, no matter … read more »

Four Questions to Ask When a Character Is Clever

Everyone loves a character who solves their problems with brains instead of brawn. We want our characters to figure out the solution to an intractable problem at the most dramatic possible moment! But if you’re not careful, your solution might come off as cheap or unrealistic. Read more »

Five Common Character Mistakes

Inara from Firefly

Character depiction is never simple. Even when the storyteller writes the hero’s entire life story and maintains a psychological profile, audiences may interpret the protagonist in an unexpected way. This disconnect causes many of the character issues we see again and again. Read more »

How to Use Lovecraftian Horrors in Your Stories

Lovecraftian horror is a specific subgenre that blends noir and horror with a dash of cosmic terror and a sense of insignificance. H.P. Lovecraft did it first, but many authors and artists have continued his traditions with varied and horrific stories. The eldritch abominations of … read more »

How to Narrate a Riveting Fight Scene

Neo stopping bullets in the Matrix.

Many stories depend on fight scenes for action and excitement. Storytellers are used to watching marvelous fights on screen, but that doesn’t tell us how to make combat riveting with our words. So it’s no surprise Ellie sent us this question: I was wondering if … read more »

Six Tricks for Memorable Character Moments

If your audience is attached to your character, they’ll relish the moments you bring that character to life. If they aren’t, character highlights could be just what they need to become attached. Use these six methods to craft satisfying scenes that highlight the unique traits … read more »

Matriarchies, Patriarchies, and Beyond

Mythcreants hosted a panel at this year’s GeekGirlCon in Seattle. Chris, Oren, Rhys, and I discussed gender in spec fic and how you can create matriarchal, patriarchal, or egalitarian societies for your stories. It was a lively event with many challenging questions from the audience. … read more »