Recent posts tagged storytelling


The Kessel Run Is A Unit Of ... Fun

How consistency, foolish or otherwise, can be the hobgoblin of small minds in SF&F.

Save The Cat For Something Else

On my disdain for instructional storytelling guides: at best, such things are meant to be outgrown.

Mystory, Repeating Itself

On examining what feels like the formula I've devised for most every book I write.

Campbell's Folly

"The 'three-act structure' and the 'hero’s journey', are editing tools, not writing tools."

The Fine Art Of The Center-Eligible Play And Other Cheats

On cheating in a work of fantasy or SF.

The Spaghetti Moment

It's a familiar story trope. A bunch of people come into a restaurant/room/hotel/office, reveal themselves in miniature, and get briefed on The Mission.

Inhuman Affections

Why would we find it easier to feel sympathy for a cartoon animal than another human being?

"Your Dreams Will Never Love You Back"

Our dreams will never love us back precisely because they are our dreams. Only you and I can love each other, and we cannot afford to let anything else usurp that responsibility.

On The Noting Of Some Turning Words

How an entire story can pivot on a single sentence, and lead to a new world in the head.

Towards A More Nearly Perfect Elevator Pitch

Being able to sum up your own stories succinctly isn't an insult to their complexity. It means you understand what they are really about.

Ring Around The Story, Pt. 2

More Marvel discussion: On entertainments vs. objects of study vs. role models.

Ring Around The Story

A few thoughts on "Shang-Chi" and the benefits of efficient story construction.

The Storyteller Is Asleep

On attempting (and largely failing) to stitch together dreams into a narrative.

The Arbiters Of The Arbitrary

Stories driven by arbitrary conceits tend to lose the reader's engagement, because in a story where anything's possible, nothing matters very much.

Behind The Scenes With 'Unmortal', Pt. 4: The Story

How everything from 'The Battle Of Algiers' to 'Soul Eater' fed into the making of my new novel.

The Story Worth Telling

"Asking 'what is the story worth telling?' is a question we can’t avoid."


What We Brought To Show-And-Tell

Show the things that are best dramatized; tell the things that are best spelled out.

Moving Parts Grind The Gears

On the balance between a story with too many rules and not enough.

Them Changes

Change is the essence of storytelling: we tell a story because we want to document something that has changed. Or someone.

Diamonds And Pearls

Stories aren't diamonds of symmetrical perfection. They're pearls of asymmetrical beauty, and should be loved as such.

Roll With It

Your job when writing a story is to listen to what this material is telling you it needs to be, and go there.

Larger Than Life And Twice As Unreal

How not all fiction has to be "realistic" to be affective, and how new aesthetic standards can follow from that.

Death By A Million Brands Of Toothpaste

On choice paralysis in creative work and how to avoid it.

What They All Deserved

On being daring in a story, without that being an excuse for cruelty.

The Shoehorn And The Scissor

Two different ways of making a story complete in terms of what it addresses.

See other storytelling posts for 2021