General Storytelling & Other Things

General Storytelling

"How Can/Should I Do This Thing With My Story/Setting/Character?" - How Figure It Out For Yourself!
You can often solve this type of question yourself pretty easily. Here's how!

"Is This A Good Idea For My Story/Setting/Character?" - How To Answer This For Yourself!
Ask yourself the right questions and discover the answer for yourself!

How To Increase Your Word Count (Without Resorting To Purple Prose And Gratuitous Introspection!)
How you can make your word count longer without adding needless fluff.

Critical Details For Writers To Keep Track Of
Details you need to keep track of to avoid inconsistencies and plotholes.

Reasons Your Story Might Be Stuck - And How To Fix It
Some common reasons writers end up getting stuck - and how to get unstuck in such situations.

What To Do When You Have A Character, But No Plot - NEW!
Find yourself in this all-too-common predicament? Here's what you can do to get out!

On Plot Structure & Plotting
Information and pointers on structuring the plots of your stories.

On Buildup, Payoff, & Contrast
Using these three elements well is absolutely essential to writing a good story - because if you don't, you'll likely end up with a story that feels dull and dismal even if the most fantastic things in the world are going on!

Dramatic Hyperinflation: Why It's A Problem, And How To Avoid It
Yes, there is such a thing as too much drama - and it can completely ruin a story or roleplay. Learn more about why it does this, and what you can do to prevent it.

Stuff You Should Cut From Your Story
Things that you should most probably remove.

Making Your Characters' Lives Harder: Why You Need To Do This & How It Can Be Done
Sometimes you gotta torture your characters a little, or at least make things difficult and uncomfortable for them. Here's why and how.

"Is This My Character's Fault?" - A Flowchart
Determine whether what your character is at fault for any substantial harm caused, whether accidentally or intentionally, and what might be an appropriate action to take.

Tips & Advice On Killing Main Characters
How to tell whether you should kill a character, how to do it well, and how you should handle the surviving characters after the fact.

The Worst & Most Frustrating Ways To Kill Off Main Characters
Thinking about killing a character off? Give this a go-over.

6 Christmas Special Tropes That Need to DIE

Why Stories About Dragons SUCK
A short rant that many an aspiring fantasy writer should read.

Why You Shouldn't Worry Too Much About Putting Symbolism & Meanings Into Your Fiction
When writing a story, fussing over whether things are properly symbolic or meaningful is the last thing you should do.

Tips To Write Better & More Believable Cover-Ups
Hint: Your characters can't plausibly get away with mass bribes or assassinating major political figures willy-nilly.

Things Your Fantasy Or Science Fiction Story Needs
Three things to keep in mind when writing fantasy and sci-fi.

Things You Need To Do In Your Science Fiction Or Fantasy Story
Some things you need to do with your fantastic elements and characters to produce a good, solid story.

Superhero Universe Appropriate Crisis Response Chart
Use this flowchart to determine which type of superhero or superhero team would be most appropriate to face any particular crisis at hand. Useful for determining if you're throwing too much, too little, or just the wrong superhero or team entirely at a problem.

Writing Better Prompts, Starters, & Beginnings: A Few Pointers
Get your story or roleplay off the ground!

Writing Better Stories With Morals & Messages
Morals in stories are very difficult to handle well. Read this for a few pointers on how.

Plot & Story Development Questions
Questions to ask yourself to help you work your story and plot out.

Things To Know If Your Character Will Be Augmented Or Experimented Upon
Many things that happen in stories involving characters who are experimented or enhanced in some way strain credulity. Here are some things to know to make them less implausible.

A Few Things Writers Need To Know About Psychology & Psychotherapists
Some essential things to know if you plan on portraying anything relating to psychotherapy.

Things About Death, Dying, & Murder Writers Need To Know
In which some of the inaccuracies and oversights in murder mysteries and horror stories are examined and addressed.

Tips For Writing & Maintaining A Horror Atmosphere
Some things to do and not to do in order to create a sufficiently spooky story setting.

More Tips For Horror
Some more pointers and advice for writing horror stories - as well as a bit of a look into what makes horror horror as opposed to some other genre, and why invincible monsters aren't necessarily the best way to go.

Tips For Writing Reader Protagonist Stories
Tips for writing stories that star the reader as the protagonist, whether they're "Choose Your Own Adventure" style stories or reader insert stories.

Creating Plausibly Functional & Useful Tools, Gadgets, & Weapons For Fiction
Tips and guidelines for coming up with SF tech that looks and feels like stuff people really would develop and would use if they could.

Tips For Writing Fanfiction With An OC Protagonist
Guidelines to help you avoid things that might annoy or bore readers in an OC-centric fic.

Things About Moral Panics Writers Should Know
Thinking about writing or plotting a moral panic or witch hunt? Here are some things to know that people often overlook.

Tips To Create Sensational Superhero Introduction & Origin Stories
Things you can do to make your superheroes' first appearances stand out and sizzle!

Tips To Create Striking Supervillain Introduction & Origin Stories
Spice up your supervillains' first appearances!

Things To Think About & Consider When Writing Merpeople & Mer Fiction
Thinking about writing a story about merpeople, or at least one merperson? Here are some things to know and think about!

Alexis Feynman's Guide To Writing Better Vampire Fiction
Four oft-missed things you should know if you plan to write some fangly fiction!

Tips For Writing Dark Stories, Settings, & Characters
Thinking about making something along these lines? Or are you already started, but find yourself having trouble making it work? Here you go!

Tips To Create & Write Creepy Characters & Situations
How to make and write creepy characters and situations, and how to keep them that way.

Magical & Supernatural Tropes To Reconsider (And Tips To Build Up Your Magical/Supernatural Settings!)
Questionable and stale tropes of the supernatural and magical to reconsider - and some things you might do instead.

The Basics Of Writing A Mystery Plot
How to write a solid mystery plot and avoid some common mistakes mystery writers make.

On Creating, Building, & Keeping Suspense
How to create suspense that holds your audience's interest - and how to avoid killing it too early.

Things About Computers & Hacking Writers Need To Know
Things you need to know if you want to make stuff related to this kind of thing look relatively plausible in your work.

Things Writers Need To Know About Security & Concealment
Are you writing about organizations or characters who have reasons to keep things protected or secret? Here are some things to know.

A Few Things To Know When Writing Rebellions & Coups
Some essentials to know if your story is going to involve a rebellion on anyone's part.

How To Avoid Elitist Overtones In Your Fiction
This kind of thing can make a story feel uncomfortable and alienating to many people, so here's how to avoid it.

Cliches & Tropes

Annoying Things In Internet Fiction
Obnoxious tropes, conventions, and cliches I've found while reading fic on the Internet.

Annoying Things In Internet Fiction - Part 2
And yet more obnoxious tropes, conventions, and cliches found in netfic!

Tropes Used in Successful Fantasy & Speculative Fictions That Inspire Creativity in Fans
The things in stories that get peoples' creative juices flowing.

Things We're Not Likely To See On The Screen
If my observations of Hollywood and TV are correct, we're not going to be seeing these anytime soon in any great quantities.

Things They Keep Putting Into Peter Pan Adaptations That Weren't in the Book
Proof that people pay more attention to Walt Disney than J.M. Barrie.

List of Fairytale Tropes and Cliches
Gleaned from like a kerjillion different fairytales.

Common Plotholes In Vampire Fiction
Many fantasy/urban fantasy writers overlook these.

Common Werewolf Tropes You Should Think Twice Before Using
Because if you use them, you're likely to end up with a story that feels like something people have seen a dozen times already - and what's more, doesn't really make sense if you stop and think it through.

Pointlessly Edgy Tropes To Reconsider Using
Just because it's edgy doesn't mean it has a point! Here are some pointlessly edgy tropes to watch out for - and what you might do instead.

Mistakes Writers Make When Trying To Avoid Cliches (And How To Avoid Them Yourself)
Trying to avoid cliches is usually a good thing, but there are a few ways it can go so horribly, horribly wrong. Here's what you need to watch out for.

"Help! I'm Worried That My Idea Is Too Cliche!" - What To Do When This Happens
Worried that one of your ideas might be too cliche? Here are some tips to help you out.

Meta Stuff

Roleplaying & Fanfiction Term Definitions
Definitions for all those funky terms we use.

How To Break Your Creative Blocks
Ways you can get through when you're having a hard time creating.

Simple Ways To Brighten Your Life & Exercise Your Imagination
A few easy things to try to combat uncreativity and general bleh-ness.

A Few Things You Really Need To Know As An Anxious Writer And/Or Artist
Are you the sort of person who fusses forever over whether something you're creating is "perfect" or "good enough?" If so, READ THIS.

Basic Advice For Giving Useful Feedback To Creators
How to give feedback, both critical and positive, that can help creators improve their works or keep on creating good stuff.

Tips To Help People Improve Their Creative Work
Tips to help you help other people!

How To Recognize Bad Creative Mentors
If you're going to find someone to help you in your creative endeavors, it's important to find someone who is actually good - so here are some signs that those you're working with or considering might not be.

How To Behave In A Creative Help Community
Entering a community for creators can be a great way to help yourself grow and develop - but only if you don't annoy people into ignoring you or kicking you out.

Tips For Describing & Summarizing Your Story & Pitching Your Plot Ideas
Tips for describing your story or sharing your story ideas with others.

Alexis Feynman's Guide To Writing Better Summaries
If your summary is bad, people won't expect better from your fic. Here are some easy ways you can make your summaries grab attention in a good way!

Verbal Cliches To Stay Away From
Some oft-used words and turns of phrase you might want to avoid.

Dealing With Criticism & Negative Reviews
It's not fun getting them, but if we know how to handle and use them, it can make us better creators. Here's how!

Other Tips & Guides

Basic Tips To Be Witty & Funny
How to sharpen your wit and unleash your inner comedic genius.

Easy Offline Randomization Ideas
Methods to get random ideas without computers (or dice).

Ideas To Explore in a Next-Gen/Future Harry Potter Story or Roleplay
Some ideas that are frequently overlooked, but if used effectively could have a lot of dramatic potential.

Borrowing & Sharing Ideas In Fiction - When It's Okay, & When It Isn't
A basic guideline on when it's okay for a story to share elements with another story, and when it's not.

Telling Story Canon From Personal Bias, Erroneous Memories, & Fanwank
How can you be sure what's canon? Errors in memory and personal biases can cause us to make mistakes - here's what to keep an eye out for, and what you can do to avoid them.

Writing Comedy & Comic Relief
Some advice and pointers on writing comedy and comic relief.

Tips & Advice To Write Better Personality Quizzes
Make your Quizilla, Quotev, or wherever quizzes better and more fun to take!

On Showing vs. Telling
What showing and telling are, and why and where you should use each in your writing.

Tips To Write Better & More Exciting Action & Fight Scenes
How you can spice up your action and fight scenes and make them play out more believably.

Universal Creative Tips For Everything & Everyone
No matter what you're creating, no matter how big or how small, these tips are for you!

Questions Writers Should Ask Themselves About Other People's Work
You know the advice "write the story you want to read"? Here are some questions you can ask yourself about the stories you've seen to help you work out on detail just what that story might be.

Everything Else

Common Fairytale Myths Debunked
No, this ain't the old "they were all really horrible and bloody until Disney got them!" If you actually believe that, you need to read this.

Brief Thoughts
A collection of thoughts and musings too short to put on their own pages.

Things Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Should Know About Science
If you plan to have science play any role in your story at all, read this.

Commonly Misspelled Words & Mangled Phrases
Stuff what's frequently spelled incorrectly.

A Proper Punctuation Primer
The basics of getting punctuation right.

How To Use Paragraph Breaks Properly
A quick guide to properly formatting your paragraphs. It's vital if you want your story to be readable!

Things That Show Up In Christianity-Inspired Fiction That Aren't In The Bible
Some of this stuff you probably even took for granted as canon...

Are Peter Pan And The Lost Boys Dead?
Some have speculated that Peter Pan and the Lost Boys are actually dead children. But where does the evidence point?

Questions People Ask About Peter Pan - Answered!
Some oft-asked questions about Peter Pan answered.

Common Misconceptions About Old Mythologies & Religions
Various misconceptions that have been spotted around the Internet lately.

Creating & Writing Fantasy Armies - Things To Keep In Mind & Consider
Things to help you keep your fantasy armies more believable.

Things Writers Get Wrong About Bladed Weapons
Some mistakes and misconceptions about swords, knives, and the like addressed.

Things Writers Should Know About Animal Behavior
A few things about animals that writers commonly muck up about animals addressed.

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