How to Build an Imaginary World That Invites Readers In

An imaginary world isn’t just a place that we make up in our heads. It’s an escape that many of us to get away from the harsh realities of this world. It’s an escape. One that many of us use over and over again. It could take the form of a book, movie, or a […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How to Write the Perfect Mustache-Twirling Villain

An all-important truth has become clear to me recently. The hero of your story isn’t the most important character. Your villain is. Villains drive your plot forward, not the protagonist. Sure the protagonist has to accept the challenge that your villain issues, but without that push back from the villain, they have nothing to do. […]

How to Create the Worst Antagonists Around Town

Not many people like antagonists. They’re supposed to annoy the protagonists; to foil the plans of the heroes and create conflict. They are supposed to be a villain for our heroes to defeat. They create the conflict in our stories because they stand in the way of what we most want: money, power, for good […]

False Protagonist: What are They and How to Use Them

This quote by TV Tropes sums up the false protagonist beautifully: So you’ve got your hero. They practically have a giant neon sign over their head that says they’re a hero. It might be subtle, but it’s fairly obvious you’ve found the person who’ll save the day, get the girl/guy, and live a long and […]

What’s the Deal with Anti-Heroes?

I don’t know about you, but I think the world has fallen in love with the idea of anti-heroes. We’ve seen many of them take over the big screen in recent years. Deadpool, Venom, the Driver from Drive, Flynn Ryder from Tangled, Tyrion Lannister, etc. have captured our hearts with their humor and underlying goodness. […]

How to Create Kick-Ass Heroes that Aren’t Superheroes

I’m a fan of superheroes. If there’s a new Marvel or DC movie, I’m going to watch it. They’re good to the point of being too good. And they exemplify all the things that we wish humanity had. Thankfully, there are other, less extraordinary, and more attainable heroes that we can weave into our tales. Heroes […]

How to Create Protagonists that Readers Love

Protagonists

You can learn how to create lovable protagonists by focusing on what connects them with readers. And that boils down to a few things. The first being that you need to create round, dynamic characters that your readers relate to and sympathize with. That process starts with some character development. But because protagonists run the […]