Conflict

Storytelling

Five Steps to a Great Plot Twist

Plot twists are an essential writing tool, and every writer uses them. It’s important to shake up expectations so readers never get complacent. But despite the ubiquity of plot twists, they are really hard to get right. The internet abounds with disgruntled reviews from readers who saw a plot twist … read more »

Writing

How to Narrate a Riveting Fight Scene

Neo stopping bullets in the Matrix.

Many stories depend on fight scenes for action and excitement. Storytellers are used to watching marvelous fights on screen, but that doesn’t tell us how to make combat riveting with our words. So it’s no surprise Ellie sent us this question: I was wondering if … read more »

Worldbuilding

Creating Factions in Three Steps

Factions add depth to organizations. They create internal conflicts that leaders must confront while facing external threats. They also highlight diversity that will make your world feel real and lived-in. Societies aren’t planets of hats, and great institutions aren’t monolithic. Read more »

Storytelling

Five Ways to Generate Suspense

Suspense builds up to conflict by causing heroes and the audience to worry about the outcome. It serves as a warning that can drive the characters and plot. Conflict that comes without that warning is jarring. While it can also be useful, it’s more likely … read more »

Storytelling

Understanding Conflict & Tension

The words “conflict” and “tension” are casually thrown around in most discussions of storytelling, but they don’t mean exactly what they do in everyday speech. If you haven’t gotten a formal introduction to conflict and tension, here’s what you need to know. Read more »

Storytelling

Is It Plot?

New storytellers often have trouble telling the difference between “things happening” and “a story unfolding.” Without the ability to turn events into plots, there is no story, and audience will quickly become bored and spend their time elsewhere. Luckily, plots only need a few basic … read more »