character relationships

Creating Authentic Character Relationships

As storytellers, we often look for ways to make our characters as lifelike as possible: we give them internal struggles, external goals, difficult challenges, and hard choices to make, all while raising the stakes and doling out consequences for every action our characters take. Today let’s examine an oft-overlooked element of storytelling: character relationships. I…Read More

originality in storytelling

Originality in Storytelling

Most storytellers strive to write fresh, original stories. They’re hoping to come up with an idea that’s never been done before. Is that even possible? Most stories are built with universal structures, or they use elements that can be found in the plethora of stories that already exists. That’s why readers can often predict the…Read More

writing resources

Writing Resources for Naming Your Characters

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions from qualifying purchases. Have you ever read one of those epic fantasy novels in which the magical characters can gain total control over any living being simply by discovering their real and true name? I’ve read about ten of those novels. What do you think is more…Read More

storytelling plot vs character

Plot vs. Character in Storytelling

Have you ever struggled with a story idea only to give up because it seems like every plot has already been done? Maybe you focus on character development to make up for a weak or formulaic plot. Or maybe you focus on plot, only to end up with characters that feel flat, stereotypical, or unsympathetic. Some stories…Read More

how to identify the protagonist

How to Identify the Protagonist in a Story

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions from qualifying purchases. In most stories, the protagonist is obvious: Harry Potter, Lisbeth Salander, and Katniss Everdeen are unquestionably the protagonists of their respective stories. But sometimes the protagonist isn’t so obvious. In some cases, a false protagonist is planted to intentionally mislead the audience, but the…Read More

character writing prompts

Character-Driven Fiction Writing Prompts

Most authors agree that fiction is primarily driven by characters. Experienced authors will talk about characters who take over the story, who have their own separate and independent consciousnesses. Outlines and plans for plot go out the window as characters insist on moving the story in a direction of their own design. Because characters are…Read More

creative writing prompts

Futuristic Inspiration for Speculative Fiction

How would people in the Middle Ages respond to a television? What would someone from the 1700s think of a helicopter? What would a person from the early twentieth century think of a computer, or more specifically, the internet? They would think these things were magical — either illusions or genuine supernatural occurrences. They might…Read More

What is a Story Concept?

Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, chapter eleven: “Concept, Premise, and Loglines.” Enjoy! Most audiences are first introduced to stories as concepts, premises, or loglines. These are hooks used for pitching and marketing; they draw people’s attention, get them interested in a story, and compel them to buy it….Read More

wired for story

Writing Resources: Wired for Story

This post contains affiliate links that earn commissions from qualifying purchases. Are you a storyteller? Do you want to be one? Then I suggest you pick up a copy of Wired for Story, ASAP. This is easily one of the best books on writing fiction that I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. The book…Read More

narrative techniques

Narrative Techniques for Storytellers

Today’s post includes excerpts from What’s the Story? Building Blocks for Fiction Writing, chapter ten: “Literary Devices and Narrative Techniques.” Enjoy! Writers use literary devices to convey or illustrate thoughts, ideas, and images or to strengthen their prose. Narrative techniques are a subset of literary devices that are specifically used in narrative writing. Both literary devices…Read More

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