Plot

Storytelling

Six Plot Excuses No One Wants to Hear

When storytellers are cornered by a tough plot problem, our first instinct is to ignore the problem by making our characters behave irrationally. Then we use character dialogue to handwave it and hope the audience doesn’t notice how unrealistic it is. Just take these six excuses. Read more »

Roleplaying

Weaving Great Campaign Plotlines

You’re ready to sit down and write the plot for your masterpiece, but writing a campaign isn’t the same as writing a one-shot adventure. You have the time to build the stakes at a relaxed pace, explore the expansive campaign world, and cultivate relationships with the cast of … 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

Using the Heroine’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey has become widely popular. Unfortunately, the original was clearly intended for men and not women. In response, some feminists have created their own, female-centered version. Lucky for us storytellers, both can be abstracted to work for a wide array of stories. Read more »

Writing

Should You Outline?

There are few greater slug matches between writers than the debate over using an outline to plan a story. The line is drawn firmly in the sand, with “planners” on one side, and “pantsers” on the other. Each side has big names claiming their way is the only … 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 »

Storytelling

How to Create an Unhappy Ending

Throughout your story, your audience will cheer for your hero as she struggles against the villains. There will be many losses and gains, until it’s time for the final battle. You know your audience will leave satisfied if your hero knocks the bad guy out of the park. But what if you want her to fail? Read more »