Reposted: Well Done Stakes

Take a look at this great post by Nate Winchester, readers: Well Done Stakes Something I’ve come to learn about stories: When it comes to their stakes, it really doesn’t matter (except it does). I’ve heard it said more than once, “The audience can tell you the problem, but not the solution.” This applies to … Continue reading Reposted: Well Done Stakes

Writerly Sound Bites, Number 8: Character Progression – How Characters Broken by Trauma Recover and Rebuild, Part 3

Brunhilde (Marvel Comics) Thus far we have looked at how children and men are broken and remade in abusive situations. It is not a pleasant picture and the road back is rough even for the strongest members of each demographic. Manipulation cannot be overcome in an hour, perhaps not even a year; it takes time, … Continue reading Writerly Sound Bites, Number 8: Character Progression – How Characters Broken by Trauma Recover and Rebuild, Part 3

Writerly Sound Bites, Number 6: Character Progression – Consistency and Repetition Make Even a Broken Character Who He Is

Considering the points made in the previous two articles here and here, one has to wonder what makes a character at all. If it isn’t earth-shaking events like those seen in Picard, Avengers: Disassembled, or The Last Jedi that make a character who he is, then what does? What does real character progression look like? … Continue reading Writerly Sound Bites, Number 6: Character Progression – Consistency and Repetition Make Even a Broken Character Who He Is

Writerly Sound Bites, Number 4: Character Progression – Or Character Destruction?

Gunsmoke's main cast I was privy to a discussion on character progression sometime in the past month. While I did not take part in it, that conversation got me thinking: many storylines in a variety of franchises with long or established characters aim for “shock and awe” character changes. These usually happen when everything appears … Continue reading Writerly Sound Bites, Number 4: Character Progression – Or Character Destruction?

Writerly Sound Bites, Number 1: On Characters, Flaws, and What Really Makes a Flawed Hero Heroic

Something I have discovered over the years is that advice from those in the field of storytelling – or from those who teach creative writing – tends to fall into two categories. The first consists of long descriptions which can almost be considered stories in themselves. Reading through these dissertations and parsing them out can … Continue reading Writerly Sound Bites, Number 1: On Characters, Flaws, and What Really Makes a Flawed Hero Heroic

Observe, Listen, Question, and Learn: The 4 Main Tools for the Astute Author

Do you recall the old admonishment: “Stop, look, and listen”? For young girls and boys, waiting is difficult – especially when you want to go from one side of the highway to the next, and there are no vehicles in sight. But once this practice becomes second nature (hopefully without the aid of a few … Continue reading Observe, Listen, Question, and Learn: The 4 Main Tools for the Astute Author

Reposted: How to Create Believable Character Flaws

Check out the latest great piece by Benjamin Cheah, readers! How to Create Believable Character Flaws Conventional wisdom states that characters should be flawed. Nobody can relate to perfect people. Flawed characters are more believable, more likely to gain the reader’s sympathies. But the conventional wisdom doesn’t teach how. In the hands of lesser writers, … Continue reading Reposted: How to Create Believable Character Flaws