Storytelling

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 »

Establishing and Satisfying Plot Threads

Do you know which hooks are motivating your readers to continue? Each hook creates an open plot thread; readers are pulled in because they want to see them conclude. If you mix up your subplots or don’t close each one properly, you’ll end up with a cranky audience. Read more »

Establishing Important Characters

A story is not the people or things in it, or even the events that occur. It is a fully-expressed person, facing a particular set of challenges, operating within a specific worldview. When you don’t fully understand your story, it’s difficult to find the right … read more »