Search Results for: subtext

4 Ways to Write a Better Anta

4 Ways to Write a Better Antagonist

Part 19 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel I have to believe Thanos would be a good writer. Why? Because he totally understands one of the most important principles of story theory: Pretty, isn’t it? Perfectly balanced. As all things should be. Too much to one side or the other… [and it […]

How the Truth Your Character Believes Defines Theme

How the Truth Your Character Believes Defines Your Theme

Part 18 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel The best stories always rest upon the foundation of believable character change and thematic depth. In turn, these two vital elements pivot upon the fulcrum of the Lie Your Character Believes and the Truth Your Character Believes. The Truth Your Character Believes is the […]

What Should Your Characters Talk About?

Dialogue is the best part of stories. (Yes, even better than Dickensian narratorial diatribes about crooked politics.) But it’s tough to write scintillating dialogue when you find yourself asking that fundamental question: “What should your characters talk about?” As writers, we’re familiar with the rant about “show, don’t tell.” We’re supposed to bring our stories […]

6 Ways to Set Up Your Story in the First Chapter

Your Ultimate First Chapter Checklist, Pt. 3: Introducing the Story

The reason the first chapter of a story is so complex is because it bears a triple load of responsibility. First, it must hook readers. Then it must offer a compelling and interesting scene of its own. And finally, it must set up the entire story to come. Today, let’s dive into our third and […]

April 2018 | Podcast Episode Archives

Subscribe to the Helping Writers Become Authors podcast on iTunes. Episode #422: How to Decide Between Plain Prose and Beautiful Prose: Writers must know how to craft words that are beautiful because they are true and words that true because they are beautiful. Consider eight principles of writing both plain prose and beautiful prose. Episode […]

How to Decide Between Plain Prose and Beautiful Prose

How to Decide Between Plain Prose and Beautiful Prose

Truth is beauty. Beauty is truth. This is perhaps nowhere more evident than in art, which deliberately and consciously explores both. Words, in particular, are the explicit context in which humanity presents, investigates, and shares its truth. Perhaps more than any other art form, writing gives us a blatant venue for exploring the truth side […]

7 Frequently Asked Writing Questions

7 Frequently Asked Writing Questions

The amazing thing about being a writer is that you get to be part of a writing community. Especially now, in the Internet age, you have access not just to the writings of the great minds who have gone before, but also to the shared wisdom, common sense, commiseration, and encouragement of all your contemporaries. If […]

Don’t Write Scenes–Write Images

When you think about it, the transformative power of the written word is no less phenomenal than the technological miracles of computers, televisions, and smarts phones. Both are alchemy. Technology uses wires and circuits to turn code into the wonder of light and color. Writing does exactly the same thing. Little black squiggles on the […]

4 Tips for Writing to the Right Audience

Here’s my somewhat radical idea: Writers don’t need to know who their audience is. And, yes, I know this goes entirely against popular advice, which encourages (even insists) that beginning authors must know their audience. I’ve probably even said basically that somewhere or other on this site. You’re supposed to go so far as to write […]

The Role of Angst and Creativity

The Words That Changed Your Life: Discovering What Made You a Writer

For me, it’s almost become a cliché answer: “I write because stories have always been my language. I write because my very first memory is telling myself a story.” “Why do you write?” and “What made you a writer?” are two questions I’m ubiquitously asked in interviews. I can respond to those questions in my […]