earn your audience's loyalty header

5 Ways to Earn Your Audience’s Loyalty

Part 22 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel There’s little in this cosmos that writers want more than our readers’ love and respect. We want them to buy our stories, love our stories, tell their friends about our stories, buy more stories, support us in style for the rest of our lives, […]

7 Ways to Write Thematically-Pertinent Antagonists

7 Ways to Write Thematically-Pertinent Antagonists

Thematically-pertinent antagonists are the lynchpin that holds together any successful story. You can write delicious protagonists, snappy dialogue, riveting conflict, and deep themes—and still, your story can fail simply because the antagonist was taken for granted as a leering, two-dimensional bad guy. We’ve talked before about how (somewhat non-intuitively) the character who provides the entire foundation for […]

The Incredible Hulk

How (Not) to Write Satisfying Action Scenes

Part 2 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel Imagine this. You sit down to write the biggest action scenes in your entire story. They’re gonna be epic. Giants will collide. Empires will topple. The conflict will be definitively decided once and for all–and readers will be glued to the page. This is, no doubt, exactly what the folks […]

Most Common Mistakes Series, Pt. 47

Most Common Writing Mistakes, Pt. 46: Anticlimactic Endings

Here’s how to write books readers will love–and yet still end up hating you for. It’s easy. All you have to do is divebomb out of your brilliance and into anticlimactic endings. On some level, anticlimactic endings are pretty self-explanatory. They’re endings with no bang in the end. They’re endings that evoke a yawn from readers instead […]

2 Ways to Make the Most of Your Story’s Climactic Setting

2 Ways to Make the Most of Your Story’s Climactic Setting

This week’s video points out some little-known considerations about creating an awesome and perfectly planned climactic setting for your story. Video Transcript: If we think of a story as sort of like a funnel, then the climax is the very tip of that funnel. In short, there’s not much room down there. Whatever is going […]

Amping Your Story Stakes: Why Even Positive Events Should Have Consequences

Amping Your Story Stakes: Why Even Positive Events Should Have Consequences

This week’s video offers another example from Jurassic Park for an easy way to instantly inject more continuity and tension in your story stakes. Video Transcript: Good fiction is about consequences. Something happens which causes something else to happen, which keeps the cause-and-effect ball rolling. If the cause has no effect, then the story peters […]

If You Don’t Fix This Mistake in Your Story's Climax, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

If You Don’t Fix This Mistake in Your Story’s Climax, You’ll Hate Yourself Later

The Climax has got to be the best part of your story, right? It’s the maraschino cherry on top of the sundae (that is, of course, if you’re the kind who saves the cherry to eat last). Anyway—the point is you want your story’s Climax to be gripping. You want it to be suspenseful. You […]

Want Readers to Adore Your Book? Learn How to Ace Your Climactic Moment

Want Readers to Adore Your Book? Learn How to Ace Your Climactic Moment

Your story will contain many important moments. Actually, we could say with accuracy that every moment in your story is important, since any misstep could conceivably jar the whole line of dominoes out of sync. But the moment in your story is the Climactic Moment. This moment is the reason your story is even being told in […]

The Secret of Choosing the Right Setting for Your Story's Climax

The 5 Secrets of Choosing the Right Setting for Your Story’s Climax

When you plan your story’s climax, the first thing to come to mind might not be the setting. Too often, the climactic setting is an afterthought. The action, after all, is what’s most important–not where it takes place. But setting can make or break any scene in your story, and this is nowhere more true than […]

Don’t Let This Sloppy Technique Kill the Tension in Your Story’s Climax

Don’t Let This Sloppy Technique Kill the Tension in Your Story’s Climax

This week’s video points out one of the most egregious mistakes you can make in your story’s climax and how to make sure readers never look away from your exciting finale. Video Transcript: Imagine this: you’ve created an amazing story, full of amazing characters, who are clashing in an epic conflict. Your story’s climax has […]