Search Results for: protagonist

Keep Slow Scenes Moving With Tension and Foreboding

This week’s video shows how Patrick Rothfuss cleverly made even slow scenes in The Name of the Wind interesting by prompting reader anticipation with foreboding and foreshadowing. Video Transcription: Not every scene in our stories can be set at a fever pitch of excitement. Just like our own lives, the lives of our characters need […]

Drama vs. Melodrama: Can You Tell the Difference?

This week’s video cautions against stepping over the boundary between realistic conflict and tension into the dreaded realm of drama vs. melodrama. Video Transcription: To be interesting—to be a story—our novels have to possess an important component. This element is so inherent to the fictional arc that it’s actually the official title of performance plays: […]

From Good Writers to Great Authors

This post is by Sam Brodbeck. To the naked eye, there is not much that separates good writing from bad writing. All the same words appear—in fact, bad writing quite often contains longer and more complicated words. Of course, the difference between a well-written piece and a poorly written one becomes very clear, not in […]

Introduce Important POVs as Soon as Possible

This week’s video explains why introducing POV characters early in the book is important to your reader’s happiness. Video Transcription: By the time readers have read through the first couple chapters in your book, they’ve made an emotional and intellectual investment in your main characters. If they’ve read this far and plan to continue reading, […]

The Kung Fu Panda Guide to Writing Action Scenes

You don’t have to love kung fuuuuuuu to enjoy a good action scene, but you do need to understand the basics of this integral type of scene if you’re going to blind readers from overexposure to your action awesomeness. Fight scenes, chase scenes, and other action extravaganzas appear in stories of every genre, so consider […]

Does Your Story Maintain Consistency in the Details?

This week’s video discusses some of the more notorious inconsistencies in Elizabeth Gaskell’s classic Wives & Daughters as a warning for authors to check their facts. Video Transcription: Most authors are aware of how important it is to avoid plot holes and inconsistencies. But sometimes it’s the little details, more than the large ones, that […]

Why Opening With a Characteristic Moment Is So Important

This week’s video explains how Howard Hawks’s classic western Red River used the characteristic moment as foreshadowing and framing. Video Transcription: One of the opening scene’s most important jobs is introducing the main character as someone the reader will find worth his time. This is best accomplished by opening with the protagonist in a “characteristic […]

3 Traits Your Hero and Villain Should Share

When we think of good guys and bad guys, we think of people are diametrically opposed to one another. But what if I told you that the best stories are those that feature protagonists and antagonists who share more in common than not? The more similar your hero and villain, the stronger your story, the […]

What I Love Lucy Can Teach You About Writing Tics

Quick, what annoying trait do writers and I Love Lucy share? In the classic episode “In Palm Springs,” Lucy and her gang drive each other up the wall with their irritating habits: Ricky’s finger tapping, Lucy’s coffee stirring, Ethel’s noisy eating, and Fred’s key jingling. Writers aren’t much different. We tap, stir, slurp, and jingle […]

5 Ways to Write Character Thoughts Worth More Than a Penny

One of the key benefits of written fiction is also one of the most difficult techniques to master: the inner narrative of the characters. This difficulty makes complete sense, of course, when we think about it (no pun intended), since the inner narrative of the characters—their thoughts put on paper—is the essence of fiction. Mastery […]