Plot

Writing

Establishing and Satisfying Plot Threads

Do you know which hooks are motivating your readers to continue? Each hook creates an open plot thread; readers are pulled in because they want to see them conclude. If you mix up your subplots or don’t close each one properly, you’ll end up with a cranky audience. Read more »

Writing

Establishing Important Characters

A story is not the people or things in it, or even the events that occur. It is a fully-expressed person, facing a particular set of challenges, operating within a specific worldview. When you don’t fully understand your story, it’s difficult to find the right … read more »

Roleplaying

Kicking Off Your Campaign Right

Your campaign is lined up and ready to play. World and plot notes are organized. Calendar dates are reserved for the coming months. Players are fidgeting, waiting to roll dice. Now it feels like everything is riding on that first session. Here’s how to give your game … read more »

Storytelling

Six Plot Excuses No One Wants to Hear

When storytellers are cornered by a tough plot problem, our first instinct is to ignore the problem by making our characters behave irrationally. Then we use character dialogue to handwave it and hope the audience doesn’t notice how unrealistic it is. Just take these six excuses. Read more »

Roleplaying

Weaving Great Campaign Plotlines

You’re ready to sit down and write the plot for your masterpiece, but writing a campaign isn’t the same as writing a one-shot adventure. You have the time to build the stakes at a relaxed pace, explore the expansive campaign world, and cultivate relationships with the cast of … read more »

Storytelling

Five Tricks to Invigorate Your Ending

Stories can end in countless ways, and no one can tell you which one is the right one. But these tricks can give your ending – whatever it is – some extra pizzazz. None of them will work for every story, but try them on. You might find the perfect fit. Read more »

Storytelling

Understanding Conflict & Tension

The words “conflict” and “tension” are casually thrown around in most discussions of storytelling, but they don’t mean exactly what they do in everyday speech. If you haven’t gotten a formal introduction to conflict and tension, here’s what you need to know. Read more »

Analysis

Five Villains Who Follow the Heroine’s Journey

I outlined the Heroine’s Journey last week, but it’s more fun to watch it in action. Because this structure is about a character who’s out of balance and makes a course correction, it’s often used for villains who take a heel-face turn. Here’s five villains … read more »

Storytelling

Using the Heroine’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey has become widely popular. Unfortunately, the original was clearly intended for men and not women. In response, some feminists have created their own, female-centered version. Lucky for us storytellers, both can be abstracted to work for a wide array of stories. Read more »

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