Best of the Blog: Names of Things

On a blog about storytelling, this post is long overdue. Aptly put, this is about the hows, whys, whats and whens of naming people, places, things, and ideas. Everything needs a name, and we are often able to supply a multitude even in real life. But in matters of choosing the punchiest, best name, discretion is needed.Continue reading “Best of the Blog: Names of Things”

Best of the Blog: Classic Plots: Revenge

This is another old one. Ever since human evil has existed (i.e., almost dating back to before humans existed) there has been revenge. It was only a matter of time before such an iconic trope made its way into literature. Usually revenge works like an unending chain of events: I kill you, your brother killsContinue reading “Best of the Blog: Classic Plots: Revenge”

Best of the Blog: Prophets and Prophecies

Now, I know: prophecies can be horribly cliched, especially when they just assume it. When the whole “in times distant past, an ancient monk had a dream on dragonmount summit” bit is missing and they kinda just assume that the prophecy is known by all (like they do in the Narnia movies), then we have a problem. However, usedContinue reading “Best of the Blog: Prophets and Prophecies”

Best of the Blog: Foods for Writing Fiction

Heh heh, surprise surprise! I’m a huge fan of food. C.S. Lewis once said that walking and talking are two great pleasures but cannot be combined, but eating and reading are two even greater pleasures that are better when combined. Truer words were never spoken, and I never forgot the old times of my youthContinue reading “Best of the Blog: Foods for Writing Fiction”

Best of the Blog: How to Handle Elderly Characters and Children

And, no, before you ask, this is not a parenting article, nor is it an article of how to manage your aging parents (I knew you always wanted the house to yourself, o schemer mine). However, in fiction, individuals of much younger or much older age can pose problems to the inexperienced writer. All’s wellContinue reading “Best of the Blog: How to Handle Elderly Characters and Children”

Best of the Blog: Five Tips on How to Improve Your Prose

More than a few aspiring writers I know struggle with this one. Their prose is bad, chopped up, and grammatically incorrect. I hate to read it almost as much as I’d love to see them improve. Maybe you’re dissatisfied with your prose. Maybe it looks like a ten-year-old wrote it, or someone illiterate. If so,Continue reading “Best of the Blog: Five Tips on How to Improve Your Prose”

Best of the Blog: How to Handle Conflicted Characters

Conflicted characters are those who not only have a conflict with their enemies, but also with themselves. These characters are often resentful, angry, and driven by vengeance. The conflicted villains seek to reconcile their conscience with their ill deed, and conflicted heroes usually want to square their sense of the good with their duty. Essentially,Continue reading “Best of the Blog: How to Handle Conflicted Characters”

Best of the Blog: Making Memorable Side Characters

For some, this may seem like a contradiction in terms. A memorable side character? What? The main characters are supposed to be memorable, not the side characters! They’re just supposed to support the main characters, right? They don’t serve a real purpose, right? All correct…to an extent. Yes, main characters are supposed to be memorable. Yes, the side character’s main purposeContinue reading “Best of the Blog: Making Memorable Side Characters”

Best of the Blog: Foils and Other Polar Opposites

A foil in storytelling parlance is a character with no particular status who is introduced into the story only to be a contrast to another, more popular character. This is much like Alfrid Lickspittle in The Battle of the Five Armies, where he is added to make Bard the Bowman look better and more noble. Usually, a foilContinue reading “Best of the Blog: Foils and Other Polar Opposites”

Best of the Blog: Humor in Fictional Writing

I was originally going to pick a comic strip that had a more funny drawing, then I realized that it would defeat the purpose of this article: Bill Watterson has the luxury of drawing to aid him, but he can still make strips like this one. I like this one because, even though there’s aContinue reading “Best of the Blog: Humor in Fictional Writing”