Melodrama

Writing

How to Avoid Melodrama in Your Writing

On the cover of The calculating stars, a group of women walk in front of a night sky overlaid with a start chart.

Melodramatic writing is a common mistake for writers. Most of us want our stories to have emotional impact, but if we don’t understand how that’s accomplished on a technical level, it’s easy to end up with purple prose instead. Let’s have a look at what … read more »

Writing

Mastering Evocative Telling

close up of an ent

The old adage “show; don’t tell” is great advice for new writers. But with practice, writers can master many creative techniques that depart from standard showing. Evocative telling is one of those techniques, and it can add a lot to a story. Read more »

Writing

Lessons From Twilight vs Fifty Shades

Twilight vs Fifty Shades of Grey

We’ve dissected the first chapters of terrible novels and great ones.* We’ve looked at entire short stories, and now I’ll kick it up a notch. I’m going to pit two books against each other in a battle to the DEATH! No, I’m not sure how a book … read more »

Writing

Lessons From the Terrible Writing of Eragon

I’ve never read Christopher Paolini’s Eragon before now, but I’ve heard it compared to both Star Wars and Harry Potter. I know I can expect a young male chosen one and (obviously) the dragon on the cover. Perhaps a dragon named Eragon, as that’s just … read more »

Storytelling

How to Create an Unhappy Ending

Throughout your story, your audience will cheer for your hero as she struggles against the villains. There will be many losses and gains, until it’s time for the final battle. You know your audience will leave satisfied if your hero knocks the bad guy out of the park. But what if you want her to fail? Read more »

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