Carnival Row Shows Us the Damage a Reveal Can Do

A main in Victorian getup stands next to a woman with fairy wings

One of the most common ways storytellers sabotage their stories is by working toward a clever reveal instead of giving their stories a solid foundation. Even when this problem is pointed out in a manuscript, it’s difficult to get writers to change it. They want … read more »

Five Problems That Hold Age of Resistance Back

Several Skeksis standing in front of the crystal.

Netflix’s new hit fantasy show The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance has a lot going for it. The superb use of puppets and strong visual themes really help it stand out from other fantasy franchises. Most of the characters are sharp and distinct, and the … read more »

Five Ridiculous Organizations From Popular Stories

Newt emerging from his case in the Wizard Congress chamber.

Organizations play a critical role in speculative fiction. They allow for bigger plots and higher stakes than are feasible with individual characters. However, they are also uniquely challenging. When crafting fictional organizations, storytellers must consider what the organization does, how it operates, where its resources … read more »

Seven Stories With Contrived Character Conflict

Conflict between characters is a vital tool of storytelling, but it can also be tricky, especially when both characters are on Team Good. Authors often have difficulty constructing conflicts where neither character is obviously at fault, or they have difficulty dealing with the implications when … read more »

236 – Chronicles of Narnia

The Mythcreant Podcast

This week, we were exploring the wardrobe we keep in the studio for some reason, only to discover that it leads to a magical land full of talking animals, mythical creatures, and a lion who seems a little holier than thou if we’re being honest. … read more »

Six Stories With Failed Turning Points

Spider-Man trying to hold a bisected boat together.

Turning points are critical to a good story. What’s a turning point, you ask? It’s the moment in a story’s climax when the situation changes, when the hero goes from losing to winning, or winning to losing if this is a story that ends poorly. … read more »

Six Stories That Focus Too Much on Side Characters

The protagonist is a story’s most important character. They have the most interesting problems, and the conflict’s outcome depends on their actions. Whether a story has multiple protagonists or just one, they should receive the lion’s share of screen time and development. At least, that’s … read more »

Guaranteed Fixes for Five Popular Stories

Riker watching holograms of Shran and Archer argue.

You might have heard there are no shortcuts to fixing a flawed story, that the only solution is to roll up your sleeves and make the hard revisions. You may even have been told that hiring a content editor is a good way to deal … read more »

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