Writing Powerful Scenes, Part 1

A story is made up of both large components, such as try/fail cycles and denouements, and small components, such as scenes and sentences. In order for your story to be strong, you need to write strong scenes. I’m in the process of taking a screenplay from outline to first draft, and so I’m a bit […]

Fantasy and Our Modern World

Fantasy and Our Modern World: A Few Observations The first truly modern fantasy work was The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien. That’s not a statement that very many critical theorists can dispute. But what is fantasy, and how did Tolkien make it “modern” and what does it mean for us today? Fantasy is […]

Religion in Fiction

Certain works of fiction are designed to appeal to readers with strong belief systems. But not all “religious fiction” need be religious.

Refining Your Tastes

There is a danger in exposing yourself to too much vapid art. It can weaken your judgment and erode your sensibilities, until the time comes when you see things that are merely passable, and somehow think that they’re good.

Showing, Telling, Making

the adage “Show, don’t tell” is used to beg for more information. Yet I’ve always felt that that advice is . . . imprecise.

Spectacular Settings

how to write a setting

When I’m looking at a story, one of the simple things I look at is setting. There are so many aspects to setting, so let’s just look at a few

Being Prolific

How to make a living as an author. Being prolific is not something I think about, but it is something I can teach.

Imagination

You may not realize it, but the most common problem with stories is that they’re tepid.

Working with a Cast of Millions

I’ve mentioned before that many bestselling stories share a common trait: they appeal to broad audiences—old and young, male and female.