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 […]

what writers can learn from making a movie2

4 Things Writers Can Learn From Making a Movie

I’ve been a book editor and a writer for a number of years now. As an author, I have one published novel in The Listeners; as an editor, I’ve worked on more than seventy. I’ve written screenplays that were optioned but never made, and I’ve sat at book signings to which no one showed up. […]

story structure q and a

Story Structure Q&A: 6 Outstanding Questions About Structure

Being a good writer is all about being a good learner—having a wide-open mind that’s always looking for the next question. I think you guys must all be good writers, because you know how to ask some good questions! Today, I want to share a story structure Q&A, featuring six thought-provoking emails I’ve received. Story structure […]

how to write a great story despite its flaws

3 Tips for Writing a Story That’s Better Than Its Flaws

Steven Schwartz (composer and/or lyricist for musicals as varied as Pocahontas, Wicked, The Prince of Egypt, and Enchanted) has said  musicals are about structure first and foremost. If you get the structure right, then a multitude of sins can be forgiven. This is certainly the case in The Greatest Showman, whose sins are multitudinous. Any selection […]

Use the Enneagram to Write Better Characters2

5 Ways to Use the Enneagram to Write Better Characters

The Enneagram. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Maybe you’ve even used the Enneagram to write better characters. Like Myers-Briggs, Socionics, and the Four Temperaments, the Enneagram is one of many systems within the study of personality theory. These systems are designed to identify the patterns found in the different ways we approach various aspects of […]

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4 Ways to Choose a Better Theme for Your Book

Part 20 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel Writers often have a complicated relationship with theme. We love it. It loves us back. But reaching a harmonious happily-ever-after with theme sometimes turns into as much of a soap opera as a long-running CW drama. Just writing a story that has a theme is […]

How to Write Unique Themes

How to Write Unique Themes

Here’s a mind-bender for you: the best story themes are both universal and unique. But how does that even work? How can you learn to how write unique themes that say something fresh and new—and yet are resonant to every person on the planet? Good question. This is something I’ve been mulling lately after a […]