Christopher Shultz

What Works & What Doesn't: 'Forrest Gump'

Films are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. And you never know why the hell some flavors are so beloved either...
Leah Dearborn

Buy Your Villain a Birthday Present: 5 More Development Exercises

Here are a few more prompts to get the mind juices going as you sit down and get to know your characters:
Max Booth III

What 'Stranger Things' Can Teach Us About Characterization

Not only is "Stranger Things" great television, it's also a required lesson in quality characterization.
Leah Rhyne

I Am So Evil - The Problem With Devilish Bad Guys

Does your bad guy know he's bad? Does she want to hurt people? Or is your bad guy one who thinks, "Hmm...I'm the good guy here."? Which is more compelling? An exploration of antagonists.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Love in Fiction

How to write about love in your fiction.

Making A Murderer: How Good Storytelling Made It So Damn Compelling

'Making A Murderer' was a fascinating story, but good storytelling made it truly excellent.
Christine J. Schmidt

Advice From A Literary Character: Bridget Jones

One of your favorite literary characters takes on life's big questions.
Leah Rhyne

Jessica Jones vs. Sansa Stark: Rape Culture in Entertainment, and Why We Should Talk About It

Trigger warning: We are going to talk about rape, and our reactions to the loss of innocence vs. the thirst for revenge.
Cath Murphy

How Backstory Almost Totally Fucked Up the Star Wars Franchise: A Lesson for Writers

The Star Wars prequels almost killed the Star Wars franchise and it wasn't just because of Hayden Christensen's acting. The toxic element was an overdose of backstory.
Christopher Shultz

American Horror Backstory: The Use of Flashbacks in "AHS: Hotel"

This FX TV series may not always concern itself with plot, but it always loves its characters. But how much is too much?
Max Booth III

Everybody Hates You: Using Empathy to Write Realistic Characters

If you want any chance of writing believable characters and stories worth reading, then being able to empathize with all of your characters must be your top priority.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: How to Write Flash Fiction

Tips and tricks for writing powerful flash fiction.
Raine Winters

Five Situations Horror Characters Get Themselves Into (and What Would Happen in Real Life)

Among the lessons you will learn: Karma's a bitch, don't piss off serial killers, and never under any circumstances enter a basement.
Cath Murphy

4 Things the Wild Success of 'Mr. Robot' Can Teach Us About Writing

'Mr. Robot' has transformed its parent network USA from sad loser to crowing superstar. How? With superb writing. Here's what we can learn from its success.
Robbie Blair

The Problem with Rape's Portrayal in Fiction

Rape is a sensitive topic that deserve a complex portrayal, but major trends in media and fiction fail to reach that complexity—and often cause a lot of damage.
Robbie Blair

6 Ways to Save a Mary Sue

If you've realized that you accidentally wrote a Mary Sue, this article will help you change that overpowered lead into a relatable character.
Robbie Blair

5 Strategies for Enriching Your Character Arcs

In: Character
Are your character arcs falling flat? This article teaches you five strategies for improving them.
Christopher Shultz

'Orange Is The New Black' and the Downgraded Protagonist

There once was a show about a girl named Piper, but no more. And that might be the best thing going for Netflix's hit series.
Raine Winters

5 Ways to Fall in Love with Your Character

These tips and tricks may help you find love again!
Richard Thomas

Storyville: 10 Ways to Fool Your Readers

Ten tips for the best ways to fool your readers.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Shifting Sympathies

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