Storytelling

Avoiding the Planet of Hats

Worldbuilding is a time-consuming process. There’s all of those governments to decide on, flora and fauna to develop, architecture to design… and when you have to do it for planet after planet in your spacefaring adventure, well, who has the time? Certainly not the writers … read more »

15 – The Hero’s Journey

The Mythcreant Podcast

Chris, Oren and Mike discuss mythic structure and the wide variety of works that use it. They talk about the themes that make the journey effective, and how it can help writers craft better stories. Read more »

How to Create Powerful Character Combos

Whether you’re creating a pair of buddy cops for your latest novel or crafting a a whole team with your roleplaying group, getting the right character chemistry can turn a lackluster story into a great one. While there are many ways to create solid combos, … read more »

The Eight Character Archetypes of the Hero’s Journey

In The Hero of a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell demonstrated that many of the most popular stories, even over thousands of years and across cultures, shared a specific formula. That formula is now commonly referred to as mythic structure, or the hero’s journey. Even if … read more »

Should You Use a Monster or a Villain in Your Story?

Villains and monsters are both antagonists. However, they serve different purposes and provide their own flavor to stories. To illustrate why you might use one over the other, I’ll use the Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook as a case study. The series follows … read more »

Three Experiments You Shouldn’t Try

It’s in the nature of writers to push boundaries. Innovators of the past are widely celebrated, and as our cultural mindset changes, our stories must too. However, a successful experimenter needs a solid understanding of what conventions they are breaking, and why those conventions were … read more »

Balancing Character Agency

In the reflection of a black man's sunglasses, a man reaches for the red pill in one hand instead of the blue pill in the other.

It’s pointless to debate whether plot or characters are more important. They are both essential, and they work together to create the story. Unfortunately, they don’t always work well together. More than a few storytellers have planned their plot to the end, only realizing once … read more »

Tying Your Plot Together

You’ve finally finished the draft of your magnum opus. You’ve developed engaging characters and placed them in a vibrant setting. You’ve filled each scene with conflict, tension, and chocolate. But something’s wrong. The friends who’ve read it tell you that while each scene is entertaining, the … read more »

Repairing Unbelievable Story Elements

In my last two posts I discussed the importance of belief, and how setting audience expectations are crucial to maintaining it. But setting expectations requires planning ahead. For episodic stories in particular, it’s impossible to plan for everything: An actor on a show could suddenly … read more »

11 – Episodic, Overarching, and Anthology Stories

The Mythcreant Podcast

Mike, Oren and Chris discuss the weaknesses and strengths that come with episodic, overarching, and anthology stories. They analyze TV shows that fell victim to the Monster of the Week or the Reset Button Ending, and praise American Horror Story for being new and innovative. Read more »

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