Storytelling

How to Create Powerful Character Combos

Whether you’re creating a pair of buddy cops for your latest novel or crafting a a whole team with your roleplaying group, getting the right character chemistry can turn a lackluster story into a great one. While there are many ways to create solid combos, … read more »

Three Experiments You Shouldn’t Try

It’s in the nature of writers to push boundaries. Innovators of the past are widely celebrated, and as our cultural mindset changes, our stories must too. However, a successful experimenter needs a solid understanding of what conventions they are breaking, and why those conventions were … read more »

Balancing Character Agency

It’s pointless to debate whether plot or characters are more important. They are both essential, and they work together to create the story. Unfortunately, they don’t always work well together. More than a few storytellers have planned their plot to the end, only realizing once … read more »

Tying Your Plot Together

You’ve finally finished the draft of your magnum opus. You’ve developed engaging characters and placed them in a vibrant setting. You’ve filled each scene with conflict, tension, and chocolate. But something’s wrong. The friends who’ve read it tell you that while each scene is entertaining, the … read more »

Repairing Unbelievable Story Elements

In my last two posts I discussed the importance of belief, and how setting audience expectations are crucial to maintaining it. But setting expectations requires planning ahead. For episodic stories in particular, it’s impossible to plan for everything: An actor on a show could suddenly … read more »

Maintaining Belief During Fantastical Stories

In the film version of The Return of the King, Gollum falls into the lava and slowly sinks. But as it turns out, lava is much too heavy for people to sink into. Gollum should have remained on the surface and burst into flame instead. A science columnist made a point of this inaccuracy. Read more »