How to Write a Well-Researched Police Procedural

The police procedural is a subgenre of the mystery novel. It has been around since the 1940s, and it’s based on what the police do daily. To say that this is a mildly popular subgenre is a bit of an understatement. It has infiltrated not only the mystery genre but also Hollywood. There are countless TV shows […]

Chekhov’s Gun: What is It & How to Use It

Chekhov’s gun is about writing with intention. It means that we shouldn’t be throwing things into our stories that serve no purpose. It doesn’t mean that we can’t have setting descriptions and what-not. We need those things to help set the mood and orient our readers to the story’s time and place. And sometimes, the […]

The Suspense is Killing Me: How to Use Suspense

Suspense permeates every genre and story out there. It can be felt long after the novel has been put down and well into the night. It’s a feeling of unease because we know something terrible will happen if that character doesn’t find the murderer, defuse the bomb, or overcome their hangups and miss out on […]

The Suspense Genre: Creating a Nail-Biting Experience

I don’t want to keep you in too much suspense today because we’re saving that literary device for another day, but I did want to talk about the suspense genre instead. This genre is a close cousin of the mystery genre and a sibling to the thriller, and to make things worse, they often get […]

Red Herring: A Literary Device or an Aquatic Animal?

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I always think of the fish when the term red herring comes up in conversation. The stupid thing is herrings are more of a silvery-blue type color, not red. But I digress. We’re not here to talk about fish, we’re here to talk about writing. The funny […]

How to Write a Suspenseful, Gripping Thriller

The Thriller – a Michael Jackson award-winning song and music video or a beloved genre of twists and turns? Luckily, the answer is yes to both. And the music video contains some of the elements that we enjoy in a good thriller, like plot twists, a fast pace, and tension. Thrillers are meant to thrill […]

The Proper Way to Kill Your Character

You’re at a pivotal moment in your story, and you may be thinking: should you kill your character off? Killing a character is a big deal, especially if you’re writing a trilogy. You know readers will be upset when you end the life of their favorite character. And sometimes, it’s hard to let go of […]

The Supervillain: How to Build a Formidable Foe

“I’ve got you now! Mwahahaha!” *five minutes later* “Mwaha-ha-ha. Do you like my laugh?” asked the supervillain. If you haven’t guessed already, we’re talking about supervillains today. They are a proud and noble race that battle it out against our superheroes. Without them causing trouble, we wouldn’t have a story for our heroes and anti-heroes. Because […]

How to Create a Superhero (Part 2): Origin Stories

Welcome to part two of how to create a superhero (you can read part one here)! Last time, we talked about what a superhero is and their amazingly detailed history. Today, we’re looking at putting that history into action. Superheroes are still characters in a story, and like every other character type, they needed to […]