Storytelling

Five Ways to Make a Selfish Character Likable

Eleanor from the good place grabbing alcohol off a grocery store shelf

Character likability is generally created through three characteristics: sympathy, novelty, and selflessness. For a main character, I recommend aiming for at least two out of three, so not every protagonist needs to be selfless. However, selfish behavior counts against a character and can make audiences … read more »

Six Ways to Make Fantasy Travel More Interesting

As a reader and writer of fantasy, I’ve found the travel aspect can be… tedious. Either it’s pages and pages of scenery with characters walking, walking, walking, or it’s one quick scene where nothing happens. If your story includes travel, try these tips for making … read more »

How to Get Readers to Feel Those Emotional Twists

Zuko sick in bed from Avatar: The Last Airbender

Nothing evokes emotion by default. Every bit of triumph or heartache has to be built up by the storyteller. So if you’re wondering why your big emotional scenes aren’t emotional to your audience, it could be because you’ve invested too little in the elements that … read more »

Nine Jerkass Traits That Aren’t Toxic or Abusive

Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation

Most stories are better with some interpersonal conflict. That means sooner or later, we’ll need to craft a jerk. But whether they’re an insufferable roommate, an antagonistic hottie, a harsh parent, or even a protagonist with some growing to do, it’s easy to make bad … read more »

Do I Have to Kill One of My Protagonists?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Hello. I have been reading your character death articles, and it has made me think about my own characters in my own story. I originally was gonna have one character death, but her death was unnecessarily brutal and did not serve a purpose (the true … read more »