Writing

Five Simple Ways to Make Your Prose Easier to Read

Glasses sit on an open book next to an open notebook with a pen on it Some stories have succeeded despite their purple prose or clichéd descriptions. But if your narration is hard to read, you’ll have trouble just finding beta readers, much less agents, publishers, or happy customers. However, we all start somewhere, and naturally, some of us are more … read more »

333 – Movement and Pacing

The Mythcreant Podcast Sometimes you can just tell that the story you’re reading has come to a screeching halt, but what does that actually mean? How can you tell when a story isn’t moving, or is moving too fast, and why does it matter? That’s what we’re talking … read more »

Lessons From Three Bad Fight Scenes

Fight scenes are probably the most complex and demanding type of scene you’ll ever have to write.* You have to coordinate where all the characters are, think through their tactics, and monitor the level of realism you’re using. We already have a few posts on how … read more »

331 – Flashbacks and Interludes

The Mythcreant Podcast You may have heard us say “nothing good happens in an interlude,” but why are we so fond of saying that? What does an interlude actually do to a story, and how does that relate to flashbacks? There are times when flashbacks are appropriate, but … read more »

329 – Writers in Stories

The Mythcreant Podcast Writers sometimes struggle to portray other professions in stories, but it turns out they have trouble portraying their own profession as well. Fictional authors are always portrayed as rogue geniuses who love suffering and never practice or revise. Why is that, when it’s so unlike … read more »

Narration Makeover: Giving Action More Immediacy

Blurry silhouettes chase someone down a street at night When you’re writing an exciting fight scene, the last thing you want is prose that makes it feel like a slog. Great action prose is tightly worded, uses active language, and makes events feel vivid and immediate. I’ve previously listed some principles that can help … read more »

325 – Ending Lines

The Mythcreant Podcast Last week, we discussed the line that opens your story. Now, we’re talking about the line that ends it. Even the best story must reach its final page eventually, and it’s important to know what that last line is even for. Should it wrap up … read more »

324 – Opening Lines

The Mythcreant Podcast Due to the linear nature of spacetime, stories have to start somewhere. The first line is, by definition, a reader’s first encounter with your story, but is it really as important as all that? Yes and no. This week, we’re talking about opening lines. We … read more »

How to Teach World Terms Without Confusing Readers

A figure stands before a doorway to a vibrant green world with a bright sun Opening a story in another world is tough. To understand what’s happening, readers may have to learn the names of people, species, places, and special devices. If you throw these names at readers too fast, they’ll be overwhelmed. But if you wait too long, they … read more »

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