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 […]

Cohesion and Resonance! Cohesion and Resonance! Cohesion and Resonance!

Cohesion and Resonance! Cohesion and Resonance! Cohesion and Resonance!

So many pieces have to come together to create skillful fiction that it’s almost disingenuous to suggest there are only one or two that make or break the story. But turns out: it’s true. And if my marquee-style post title wasn’t enough to give it away, let me spell it out: for a story to work, […]

Tower Lord Anthony Ryan

Tower Lord

Book: By Anthony Ryan. Inciting Event: Frentis: The woman, who has mind-slaved Frentis into helping with her murders, kills an old gifted man and drinks his blood, which gives her the ability to cast fire. Vaelin: The king names Vaelin Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches, basically exiling him to the frontier, from where his […]

secrets of storytelling

The 5 Secrets of Good Storytelling (That Writers Forget All the Time)

I’m having a harder and harder time getting excited about stories these days. Not because I don’t love stories, but because I do love them—and because it’s ever-increasingly difficult to find truly great ones that employ all the secrets of good storytelling. By “great stories,” I mean stories that are put together with intelligence, understanding, passion, […]

guardians of the galaxy vol 2

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

Movie: Directed by James Gunn. Inciting Event: After Rocket steals the Sovereign people’s priceless batteries, the Guardians are saved by a mysterious man riding his own spaceship. This man (Ego) will drive the main conflict, ergo his appearance is the first brush with that conflict. Meanwhile, protagonist Peter Quill’s old boss Yondu (who has been […]

Top 10 Writing Posts of 2017

Top 10 Writing Posts of 2017

We’re hurtling toward the end of the year, which means it’s time to hit pause, amidst all the winter festivities, and take a look back at 2017. For me, this has been a vastly different and vastly important year. As I talked about in the post “6 Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Protect Creativity,” […]

My Top Books of 2017

My Top Books of 2017

When you’re a writer, stories are life. You can’t create them without ingesting them. That’s why Stephen King famously said: If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. That’s why this annual look back at my top books of 2017 is always one […]