Storytelling

Five Ways to Make People Hate a Hero

Captain Hammer

Making people hate a character who kicks puppies or steals from the downtrodden is simple. But what if you want your audience to dislike someone woven from stronger moral fiber? Perhaps your story has a villain protagonist and a heroic antagonist, much like Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Or maybe you’d … read more »

77 – Time Travel

The Mythcreant Podcast

Technically we’re all time travelers, moving forward at a rate of one second per second. That’s boring time travel though; let’s talk about the interesting stuff where doctors with bow ties hang out with medieval knights. This week we discuss good and bad uses of … read more »

Three Painless Ways to Patch Plot Holes

Sewing a patch

Your test audience is up in arms about something unbelievable in your story, but you don’t want to make big changes. Maybe your entire story depends on a lie they can’t swallow, you’re in production and it’s too late for an overhaul, or your story would be … read more »

76 – Characters Who Switch Sides

The Mythcreant Podcast

Writers really love turning their characters from evil to good or from good to evil, so it must be easy, right? Not according to the nerds hosting this podcast. Listen as they debate which transitions worked well, which ones didn’t, and talk a lot about Zuko. Mostly … read more »

Seven Great Sources of Conflict for Romances

Tristan and Yvaine from Stardust tied back to back

If the two lovebirds are meant for each other, why don’t they just hook up? This question has vexed countless storytellers and lead to a plethora of bad romance tropes. But as the romance genre shows, this question has many wonderful answers. Get your imagination going with these seven. Read more »

Five Signs Your Story Is Sexist – Against Men

A muscled Riddick broods on his throne.

You’d think patriarchy would be good for men, but it isn’t. Patriarchy enforces strict standards of masculinity that are impossible to meet. But because masculine traits are glorified, it’s easy to lose sight of how toxic they are to men. As storytellers, we may think we’ve created strong central characters when … read more »

Defeating the Contrivance Bogeyman

Old woman booing Buttercup in the Princess Bride

One of the most common bogeymen in storytelling is contrivance. A contrivance is a break in believability that calls attention to the goals of the storyteller. When the audience encounters one, they stop watching the marionettes in your puppet show and instead stare at the hands that move … read more »

Four Tips for Depicting Disabled Characters

Geordi from Star Trek: TNG at a poker table

Many storytellers are intimidated by including a diverse cast in their stories, not just because they know little about other groups, but because the stakes are so high. That’s why questions like Sarai’s are common: In a historical setting, or a world where not much is known … read more »

Five Steps to a Great Plot Twist

Plot twists are an essential writing tool, and every writer uses them. It’s important to shake up expectations so readers never get complacent. But despite the ubiquity of plot twists, they are really hard to get right. The internet abounds with disgruntled reviews from readers who saw a plot twist … read more »

Follow Us

Facebooktwitterpinterestrsstumblr

Get Our Email Newsletter

We'll send our best work every month.