Storytelling

Reconciling Character Choices With Your Plot

A classic painting of two girls reading a book together.

Sometimes, the reactions we assign to characters in the outline stage don’t feel natural when written out. In these cases, it can be difficult to judge whether planned character behaviors are unrealistic or the storyteller just isn’t in the right mindset. Since character choices can … read more »

Six Rape Tropes and How to Replace Them

The Orville's security officer and XO.

Unless your story is specifically about sexual assault, you should probably remove any rape, attempted rape, or even mention of rape from your story. This is because these depictions normalize sexual assault and are often hurtful to survivors. Let’s go over how rape ends up … read more »

How to Use Story Structure in Non-Narrative Writing

Open book starting with Once Upon A Time

All communication can use story structure to engage audiences. This includes not only narrative works like creative nonfiction but also articles, speeches, essays, and informational texts. This doesn’t mean all communication should have story structure. Stories string audiences along – that’s how they work. Giving … read more »

Five Ways to Handle Parents Without Killing Them

Melissa and Scott from Teen Wolf

Parents are a real bugbear for any author writing an underage protagonist, and it’s not difficult to see why. Not only are parents generally more capable than their children, but they also have a vested interest in not allowing said children to undertake dangerous tasks, … read more »

Choosing a Follow-Up Strategy for a Popular Story

Hollywood has made the act of revisiting old fan favorites something of a gimmick. With a rising wave of returning franchises, classics like Star Wars, assorted horror and superhero movies, Star Wars, numerous 2D-animated films,* and Star Wars have made their way back to the … read more »

Seven Tips for a Satisfying Mystery

A set of watch gears shown through a magnifying glass.

Everyone loves a good mystery. But mystery stories have a common problem: no satisfaction at the end. That’s because everything in the story leads to a big reveal about whodunit. Reveals are always tricky to pull off, so if the story’s not firing on all cylinders, … read more »

Six Ways to Add Novelty to Your Story

Mythcreants dwells a lot on ANTS, the four effects that make stories engaging. But while we’ve devoted whole articles to specific aspects of attachment, tension, and satisfaction, novelty hasn’t gotten as much time in the limelight. The problem is that anything in the story can … read more »

Turning Your Fanfic Into an Original Fic

a hand writing in a notebook

You’ve poured your heart and soul into a fanwork, and lo and behold, it’s caught on with other fans. While success is great, it’s not paying the bills. To  financially benefit from all that labor you put in, you’ve decided it’s time to retool your … read more »

Filling In Your Story’s Middle

A tiny person stands in the center of a magical book.

Writers often know where their stories start and end but draw a blank when it comes to all the stuff in between. And unfortunately, common plot structures like the hero’s journey aren’t as helpful as they seem. While they provide a rhythm of success and … read more »

Authorial Endorsement 101

Bilbo writing his book.

For all the time we spend arguing about plot holes and magic systems, we spend even more time arguing about what a story means. Fiction can send a powerful message, but first we have to understand what that message is. That’s where authorial endorsement comes … read more »

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