Looking to brush up your writing skills or learn a new trick or two? You've come to the right place! Check back weekly for helpful tips and articles that make your writing better. 


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In Narrative Voice: Point of View and Tenses, we looked at the difference between various points of view; now we'll consider how to put that information to good use. The question is: How do you, the author, know what point of view is best for you and your story? 

Choosing your story's point of view may be the most crucial decision you make when crafting your novel. Point of view… read more

June 14, 2024
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February 20, 2021

Stories are, fundamentally, all about conflict.

In most stories, your protagonist wants something—to change a law or the government itself, to avenge a death, to hook up with the cutie, to dispel a curse—and your antagonist usually wants something that is in direct opposition of whatever the protagonist wants.

From those opposing wants come the narrative conflict and thus… read more

February 14, 2021

The term worldbuilding conjures images of secondary worlds, far away planets, and magic systems, so much so that it has become ubiquitous with writing and game development, particularly within fantasy and science fiction genres. But what exactly is it? How does one go about building a world in the first place? And what do you mean, I should consider worldbuilding even when the… read more

February 04, 2021

Which of your characters is going to lie to your audience, and why?

Firstly, it's always important to remember that no baddie ever actually thinks they’re the baddie. They are always hero of their own tales, so create them to believe that. Take Loki, from the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. His character arc is a great example of someone going to increasingly more desperate ends… read more

January 22, 2021

Now that we’ve established what a point-of-view (POV) and a Narrative Voice are, let’s talk about Unreliable Narrators. These are narrators who, either because of the way they interpret the world, omissions in their story, or outright falsehoods and manipulation, lie to the reader.

In the first part of this series, I talked about the narrator as the driver of a story, the… read more

January 15, 2021

Once you’ve chosen your narrator, your next job is to figure out how they speak. Have a good long think about how their upbringing, social class, race, gender, sexuality, education, job, family home life, nation, etc. interconnect and serve to shape their morals, choices, preferences, and understanding of the world.

And once you’ve got that down, think about how all of those… read more

January 08, 2021

Depending on how your plot is structured and the way your scenes are woven together, both your narrative and your readers may benefit from being able to experience your story through multiple different narrators. 

The Easy Stuff

This storytelling choice allows the readers to experience different moments and episodes within the plot, perhaps when one… read more

December 25, 2020

Welcome to the first of five articles about creating a narrative voice.

Deciding who your narrator is going to be is not only vital for you as a creator —because without someone to tell the story on your behalf, you can’t tell it at all—but it will also effect how and why your story is exists at all. This makes narrative voice the most important decision you can make before… read more

December 18, 2020

Protagonist vs. Antagonist

Every story needs a main cast, but which characters qualify? How do we know who is important and who plays a supporting role?  Let's talk about characters!

Stories have heroes. Stories also have villains.  Sometimes stories have neither. But that's a special case. Let's break things down first.

Protagonists

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December 10, 2020

"Exposition" can be a scary word. In some writing circles, "experts" will warn you to exercise extreme caution when using it, or they'll make it out to be a difficult but necessary evil. But ultimately, exposition is just another writing tool, and it's used in all sorts of writing, even beyond fiction. Think of it this way: no matter what you're writing, you want your… read more

December 02, 2020

All good story beginnings should accomplish four things: Introduce the Character, Introduce the World, Introduce the Themes, and Introduce the Conflict.

Introduce the Character

This is the first time we meet your protagonist. You’re going to want to offer the reader an introduction to their mood, their general way of speaking or thinking, and any facts about this… read more