Search Results for: protagonist

Antagonists Don’t Have to Be Evil

A Quick Secret to Secondary Antagonists

Much of the conflict in a story will comes in the form of people causing problems for your main character. The most obvious form of trouble is that presented by the antagonist, that supremely evil being whose sole purpose in life is to wreak havoc in the universe and cause problems for your MC. But don’t […]

4 Tips for Choosing the Most Immersive Story Settings

One of the joys of fiction is its ability to transport us to faraway places. Just by cracking the covers of a book, we can visit the far reaches of Bombay or São Paulo and the imaginative wonders of made-up worlds and galaxies. We plan our story settings meticulously, researching details and creating spectacular backdrops. […]

Does Your Story Have the Extraordinary Factor?

Does Your Story Have the Extraordinary Factor?

Readers want fiction to be extraordinary enough to thrill them with its strangeness and excitement. But they also want it be ordinary enough for them to find aspects they can relate to. How’s a writer supposed to pull off this apparent paradox? How do you make your stories both ordinary and extraordinary? Is Your Hero Ordinary […]

Learn Story Structure in 90 Seconds3

21 Must-Haves for Your Story Structure (in 90 Seconds)

A writer’s life is busy. Sometimes we need shortcuts. And while there really aren’t any shortcuts, sometimes there are, at least, cheat sheets. Today, I’m going to give you a Mouse-ter Class in story structure—in all of 90 seconds. Ready? Strap in and take a look at the video below to see the foundational art of […]

The 4-Step Checklist for Your Story’s Opening Scene

Your story’s opening scene is always going to be tricky. It has to accomplish all kinds of goals in very little time and few words. Today, let’s look at the four things your story’s opening scene needs to check off its list–starting with the single most important one. The Most Important Job of an Opening Scene Arguably, […]

Written a Great Character? Prove It By Properly Using Show and Tell

Bring Your Character to Life by Correctly Using Show and Tell

As an author, you must walk a narrow line between presenting skillful, competent, admirable characters—and realistically fallible human beings. It’s easy to unintentionally overemphasize one aspect or the other through a poor use of “show and tell.” The result? Readers sometimes end up getting completely the wrong idea about your character. Allow me to demonstrate. How […]

How to Write Scenes That Matter

How to Write Scenes That Matter

One of the single most important decisions in storytelling is one you make every day, maybe even several times a day. It all comes to: how to write scenes that matter to your story. Imagine your story as a line of dominoes and each individual scene as a single domino. If you expect your line […]

3 Tips for How to Write a Bad Guy Who Transforms Your Story

Since the whole point of a bad guy is that he’s bad, you’re first thought may be to make your antagonist as despicable as possible. But stop right there. Let me show you how to write a bad guy who’s all the more interesting for not going completely over the Dark Side How to Write a […]

What Steve McQueen Can Teach You About How to Write Characters

One of the best ways to learn how to write characters that live and breathe in their own right is to study the great actors. How are they infusing life in their characters? What are they doing in their performances that transforms seemingly mundane roles into unforgettable personalities? The 1960 western The Magnificent Seven is […]

4 Setting Questions That Will Deepen Your Characters

In the best of stories, setting is an inherent key, not just in bringing to life the scenery, but in helping you deepen your characters. As such, it isn’t something any author can afford to overlook. Answer the following setting questions to find the weak points in your setting construction and help you use it to […]