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 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

Is Subverting the Audience’s Expectations the Best Way to Go?

Writers today are often told that they absolutely have to subvert audience expectations in order to tell a compelling story. Notably, those who insist that authors do this never give a truly compelling case for why this has to be done with every single tale they tell. Most disturbingly, these advisers never say just where … Continue reading Is Subverting the Audience’s Expectations the Best Way to Go?

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

Reposted – Critique: 6 Tips for One Characters

​Check out this piece by K.M. Weiland: Critique: 6 Tips for Introducing Characters Most of the time, I hate real-life introductions. For one thing, I almost always forget the person’s name in the rush of shaking hands, smiling, and saying something charmingly banal. Then there’s the small talk, important but often tedious. Squirm. But that’s most of … Continue reading Reposted – Critique: 6 Tips for One Characters

Characters – The People Who are Real When You Need Them to Be

J.R.R. Tolkien once said that every story he wrote began with a name. I think that almost every story I have ever written or planned starts, if not with a name, then with a particular character type that pops mostly formed into my mind. The name – even if it changes later – appears simultaneous … Continue reading Characters – The People Who are Real When You Need Them to Be