Richard Thomas

Storyville: Shifting Sympathies

Tips and suggestions on how to shift the sympathy of the reader from one character to another.
Susan DeFreitas

5 Problems with the Humble Protagonist

Unconventional protagonists make for great fiction—but beware the humble protagonist, who will hamstring your novel at every turn.
Robbie Blair

5 Reasons Why We Love Lannisters (and Other Morally Gray Characters)

A look at why morally gray characters are so compelling, using the Lannisters of Westeros as my primary examples. Beware: Spoilers abound!
John Jarzemsky

Writing 'The Other'

When does writing about The Other stop being an exercise in understanding and become something exploitative?
Leah Dearborn

5 Realty Listings That Could Be Your Character’s New Home

Sometimes, a house can read like a main character in itself.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Making Relationships Feel Real in Your Fiction

Some tips on how to make your fictional relationship feel real.
Robbie Blair

8 Ways to Make Your Characters More Relatable

Relatability in your characters will help your work strike a chord with readers. This article explores ways that you can make your heroes, villains, and other characters more relatable.
Susan DeFreitas

Ursula K. Le Guin, Master of Realism

Ursula K. Le Guin is best known for her sci-fi and fantasy, but part of what makes her work so remarkable is the deeply realistic way it handles the nuanced intersections of character and culture.
Leah Dearborn

An Abundance of Robin Hoods: How Social Bandits Defy Time and Culture

Whenever a source of authority grows too powerful and begins to usurp the common people, Robin Hood-like characters start to appear in film and literature.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Writing a Novel Without Plotting it Out

Tips on how to write a novel without plotting it out.
Leah Dearborn

Better With Age: Giving Elderly Characters the Spotlight

Every living person on the planet has experienced childhood, but the same can’t be said for old age. Older characters have more history, so creating such a person takes considerable imagination.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Writing About Taboo Subjects

When writing about taboo subjects, be careful how you do it.
Max Booth III

Forget Heroes and Villains, There is Only Point-of-View

You want to make your characters realistic? Think of everybody as the protagonist.
Leah Dearborn

Take Your Characters Out to Lunch: 5 Development Exercises

Like going on a date, character exercises are part of the process of getting to know another person better (in this case, an imaginary person).
Emma McMorran Clark

Slipping Into Someone Else's Skin

Great characters aren't just words: they're living, breathing people, as real as you or me. But where do they come from? How does one birth a character with depth and soul?
Leah Dearborn

The Archetypes of Hayao Miyazaki

Revered Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki has announced his retirement, but not before years of contribution to the art of storytelling.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Putting Your Life in Your Fiction

Some helpful tips for working your life into your fiction.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Kill Your Darlings—How 'Game of Thrones' Can Change Your Writing

We can learn some valuable lessons about plotting, characters, and expectations from watching (or reading) 'Game of Thrones.'
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Three Essential Books On Writing

Three essential books on writing by Stephen King, Donald Maas and Jeff VanderMeer.
Robbie Blair

Overcoming Object Love: How to Write Female Leads Who Are People

"Object love" is a painfully common writing disease that leads us to write two-dimensional women who are more object than person. This article explores how you can overcome the sickness.
Christopher Shultz

Want To Be A Better Writer? Take Acting Classes

From basic games to complex script analysis, actors have a thing or two to teach writers.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Dissecting "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates

One of the most talked about, published and taught stories, I dissect "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates.