Romance

Storytelling

A Field Guide to Six Infectious YA Clichés

Dear YA novelists of all shapes and sizes: there is an infestation spreading through the ranks of our beloved genre. Distorted by centuries* of grotesque overexposure and abhorrent inescapability, these clichés have wormed their way into even the best-intentioned novels. Watch out! They may be … read more »

Analysis

Six Underdeveloped Love Interests

Angel looking evil.

Storytellers setting out to create a love story face many obstacles, and one of the more serious obstacles is an underdeveloped love interest. This is what you get when the protagonist’s sweetheart doesn’t seem like a complete character in their own right. They might just … read more »

Storytelling

Constructing a Compelling Romance

Anna and Kristoff from Disney's Frozen

When done well, romance not only makes stories feel deeper and more meaningful but also gives the audience another reason to turn the page. Unfortunately, it’s easy to jump into writing a romance without thinking it through. And if the romance isn’t setup well, it … read more »

Writing

Lessons From Twilight vs Fifty Shades

Twilight vs Fifty Shades of Grey

We’ve dissected the first chapters of terrible novels and great ones.* We’ve looked at entire short stories, and now I’ll kick it up a notch. I’m going to pit two books against each other in a battle to the DEATH! No, I’m not sure how a book … read more »

Commentary

Why the Surprise Kiss Must Go

Korra surprises Mako with a kiss

A while back, I made a list of creepy things we oughta stop romanticizing. In response I got mostly nods all around, except for one item: the surprise kiss. Unlike everything else, people kept defending it. Rather than arguing with every commenter, I decided to expand on why … read more »