Storytelling

Ditch These Five Character Archetypes

Archetypes tell us what role a character plays in a story. Many of these roles are critical for storytelling, but some are just the opposite. Troublesome roles allow storytellers to cut corners, reducing the overall quality of the tale. Take these five archetypes: Read more »

Telling a Story in a Prejudiced Setting

Prejudice is a part of human society, and some eras were just awful. However, we still want to tell stories in those time periods. The steampunk genre is based largely on Victorian England, a time when being female was enough for people to assume you … read more »

Managing Bad Character Karma

Informally, a person’s karma is the destiny they have earned. It means that those who have done good deeds will have a better future awaiting them, and those who have committed wrongs will be punished by fate. You may or may not think that karma … read more »

Outline a Short Story in Seven Steps

If you have lots of creative ideas and trouble organizing them, try using this framework to craft a short story. It isn’t the key to making every tale under the sun, but it should help you frame your central conflict, create a proactive character, and … read more »

Nine Questions to Ask About Your Draft

You’ve worked long and hard, finally completing the first draft of your story. You could send it to others for feedback, but before you do, stretch your storytelling skills by thinking critically about your work. Does your beginning hold its weight? Is your middle taut … read more »

Five Steps for Adding Character Complexity

New character concepts can be thrilling. But if we just take our initial, exciting concept and run with it, we may end up with a character that’s one-dimensional. Flat characters feel less realistic, are more annoying, and become boring once their novelty wears thin. You … read more »

The Why & How of Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is the storyteller’s primary tool for setting expectations. It’s a clue that tells the audience what might happen later on. Why do they need to know? There are two different reasons, and each one calls for different foreshadowing techniques. Read more »

Five Ways to Make Your Character Stand Out

Are you worried your characters are forgettable? Don’t be. Just sacrifice small rodents in the name of Scientor until everyone sees visions of your heroes whenever they close their eyes. Or you could do the boring, normal thing and read this list of suggestions I made for you. Read more »

Six Emotional Motives for Your Characters

With emotional drive comes the character depth your audience will love. These inner forces are incredibly flexible. They can form the backbone for your entire story or simply add another dimension to the plot and characters you already have. Read more »