Search Results for: protagonist

Why Your Protagonist and Antagonist Should Be Stuck Like Glue

When you think of the relationship between your hero and his antagonist, the first thing to pop to mind usually isn’t their being bonded at the hip. They’re different from one another. They don’t want to stick together. They want to get as far away from one another as possible. That’s what creates the conflict! […]

The Perils of a Passive Protagonist

This week’s video warns about the pitfalls of creating a passive protagonist who isn’t able to take readers into the thick of the action. Video Transcription: Whether your book is a high-speed espionage thriller or a cozy romance, the element at its heart—the fuel that makes it run—is action. Something is happening to your protagonist—presumably, […]

Has Your Protagonist Changed His Ways? Prove It!

This week’s video demonstrates how to implement the all-important protagonist transformation by using examples from the recent superhero blockbuster Thor. Video Transcription: Personal transformations are always at the heart of strong character arcs. Our protagonists are faced with trials that force them to acknowledge their own inadequacies and then, usually, change their ways in a […]

Why Every Protagonist Needs a Dialogue Buddy

Although some successful novels feature lone-wolf characters who face the world and its challenges by themselves, clever authors will sidestep the pitfall of leaving a main character without someone to talk to for the majority of the book. Your protagonist’s fellow conversationalists can be varied and multitudinous over the course of the book—but usually, you’ll […]

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Critique: 8 Quick Tips for Show, Don’t Tell

The key to immersive story experiences is convincing readers they’re right there with characters. They’re smelling the ash in the air, tasting the rain, feeling the churning gut, seeing all the same colors, hearing all the same notes. When narrative writing accomplishes that level of verisimilitude, it has the ability to move readers beyond their […]

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5 Ways to Use Theme to Create Character Arc (and Vice Versa)

What’s the easiest way to find your story’s theme—and make it stick? Although any discussion of theme is multi-faceted, one of the best ways to approach this complex topic is through the realization that you can use theme to create character arc—and vice versa. When asked to explain what a particular story is about, some […]

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4 Pacing Tricks to Keep Readers’ Attention

Part 21 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel Stories live or die on their pacing. Great characters and concepts are the heartbeat of good fiction, but even the greatest can struggle to keep readers’ attention if the pacing is off. Pacing is a lot like tone. It varies depending on the type […]

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How to Find Your Thematic Principle

There are words I think of as “infinite words.” These are words that express more, in their essence, than we can ever quite seem to explain. They’re the words of poetry. Indeed, many are complete poems all in a single word. For me, one of those words is “theme.” Theme is one of those endlessly […]

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Plot, Character, and Theme: The Greatest Love Triangle in Fiction

Once upon a time, Character fell in love with Plot. Right from the start, it was a stormy relationship. There was passion, there was romance, there were epic stakes. And conflict? Puh-lenty. Sometimes they were pretty sure they couldn’t live with each other a moment longer. Sometimes they tried to give each other up altogether. […]

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How to Write Emotion: An Experimental Study

Not too many years ago, I thought an accurately portrayed scene naturally caused readers to experience the emotions that the characters would logically feel in such situations. Not true! As Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi explain in The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, we must take our innate skills of observation and […]