Storytelling

Six Tips for Doing More With Less

Speculative fiction readers are interested in different things. Some of them are passionate about characters, some want to explore new worlds, and others look for a riveting plot. It’s easy to make any of these elements memorable if you throw enough words at them. While … read more »

Five Ways to Add Conflict to Your Story

Are sections of your story dragging? It’s easy to say you should cut them out, but in reality, it’s difficult. Your slow points could form the foundation for your entire plot. Luckily, there’s an alternative: let conflict come to the rescue. Conflict is what makes … read more »

Five Signs Your Character Is Fully Developed

The internet abounds with exercises to help storytellers develop their characters. These steps are all helpful, but none of them are irreplaceable. What’s important is the end result. But what does that endpoint look like? Here are five signs that you’ve arrived. Read more »

Six Types of Character Flaws

Perfect characters kill tension with ruthless efficiency. It’s really hard to get interested in what they’re working through, because it’s obvious they’ll succeed. Characters that overcome obstacles despite a serious handicap seem stronger than ones who don’t. Read more »

Removing the Creeps From Romance

For as long as we can remember, storytellers have depicted idealized romances that would translate to abusive, unhealthy relationships in real life. Now audiences are starting to catch on, and anyone who wants their story to last has to update old conventions. Read more »

Four Ways to Limit Magic & Technology

While powerful spells and gadgets are fun to imagine, they can do serious harm to a story. Once you add a transporter or summon giant eagles, it becomes too easy for the protagonists to overcome challenges. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce the impact of … read more »

How Team Rocket Villains Ruin Stories

I invoke the terrible memories of Team Rocket because they are the most extreme example of something that pervades a lot of other stories: recurring villains who simply lose their potency as time goes on. This can ruin an otherwise great story. Read more »