Storytelling

Depicting Child Characters

Portraying child characters can be one of the biggest challenges of storytelling. Even though many of us are around children regularly, kids vary so much by age, development rate, and individual experience that it can be easy to pigeonhole them or simply get them wrong. … read more »

Five Archetypes That Can Steal the Hero’s Spotlight

Your protagonist should be the most important character in your story. They have the emotional question to resolve, or they’re the key to solving a major crisis. But without meaning to, authors can overshadow their own protagonists with other characters. Naming all the ways this … read more »

Five Characters With Too Much Spinach

Harry Kim looking puzzled as he is shot.

No, this is not an article about Popeye the Sailor Man.* Rather, spinach is anything that humiliates a character or tarnishes their image as a cool badass in the audience’s eyes. It can take the form of a character failing to save their loved one, getting … read more »

94 – Heroes With Evil Reflections

The Mythcreant Podcast

Since we’re discussing heroes with dark counterparts, we brought on a new guest host: Graham, who is basically evil Oren. With our evil new co-host, we discuss all the ways in which a villain can be used to show us the darker side of a hero, and … read more »

The Why & How of Character Motivation

A critical part of developing any character is giving them motivation. Unfortunately, that’s not always as simple as it seems. The motivation has to be compelling and believable while working with the story at large. Let’s talk more about motivation and how you can get it … read more »

Six Common Problems in Short Stories

While they may not get the fame and prestige of their cousin the novel, short stories* are a vital part of speculative fiction. Some of spec fic’s most important and influential work comes in the form of short stories, from venerable classics like The Yellow … read more »

Five Ways to Hide Your Foreshadowing

An orange butterfly camouflaged amongst orange leaves

Foreshadowing is an essential tool for making plot twists and other reveals in a story work. But if the storyteller isn’t careful, foreshadowing can give the ending away. These five methods will reduce the chance of your audience catching on too quickly. Read more »

88 – Portraying AI

The Mythcreant Podcast

This week, Oren downloads two new minds into the podcast: Rhys and Elly. These disembodied voices claim they were once human, but who can say in a world where memories can be written like software? Together, the (mostly) human co-hosts discuss how to depict AI on … read more »

Seven Ways to Use Consequences in Stories

The Venture Brothers protagonist stares aghast at the camera..

When characters fail, either through negligence or action, their failure matters little if there are no consequences. The consequences may affect the characters directly or the people around them, but they have to be tangible and meaningful to bring anything to the plot. Consequences can enrich … read more »

Creating Your Villain’s Journey

The Operative from Serenity holding up his sword

Most character arcs are intended for protagonists, and viewpoint characters in particular. But a story can be greatly enhanced by giving arcs to other major characters – including the main villain. Unfortunately, villain arcs can be tricky. The audience rarely sympathizes with the big bad, … read more »

Follow Us

Facebooktwitterpinterestrsstumblrmail

Support Us

We depend on our readers to keep running. Become a patron or learn more.