Landscape as a Muse

“… a huge peak, black and huge, As if with voluntary power instinct, Upreared its head. I struck and struck again, And growing still in stature the grim shape Towered up between me and the stars, and still, For so it seemed, with purpose of its own And measured motion like a living thing, Strode…Read More

Creating Great Stories

The Alchemy of Imagination, Creativity, and Technique “Creativity is putting your imagination to work.” – Sir Ken Robinson Storytelling comes to us in so many ways. Through novels and games to the stage and the screen, writers entertain us with their imagination, creativity, and mastery of technique. Although creativity is used broadly to mean making…Read More

Dual Timeline Stories

“Every why hath a wherefore.” – William Shakespeare. Dodging the Information Dump Writers sometimes take their readers back in time to promote a better understanding of the story. We use several techniques to achieve this goal, such as prologues, flashbacks, or dual timeline threads. These reveal background information through dramatized scenes rather than a character…Read More

Achilles’ Heel: The Art of Vulnerability

“Achilles, without his heel, you wouldn’t even know his name today.” – Stan Lee. Speculative fiction is full of heroes and villains who have superhuman powers. From sorcerers to warriors, their strength, speed, and skill dazzle us. But while these mighty figures might appear exciting, their appeal would dwindle without a flaw or weakness to…Read More


Antiheroes: Breaking Stereotypes

“I may be on the side of the angels, but don’t think for one second that I am one of them” – Sherlock Holmes, in the TV series Sherlock. In the realm of storytelling, heroes and villains often occupy opposite ends of the spectrum. But there is a captivating alternative: the antihero. Take Han Solo…Read More

grail quest journey of self-discovery

The Grail Quest: A Journey of Self-discovery

“The most extraordinary journey is the one you take to find yourself!” – Mehmet Murat ildan. The Essence of a Grail Quest Grail quests have been popular in literature for centuries. These stories often involve knights or heroes embarking on a quest to find the Holy Grail, but they are about much more than epic…Read More

Are prologues necessary

Are Prologues Necessary?

  “What is past is prologue.” – William Shakespeare What is a Prologue? Authors and filmmakers use prologues as introductions to a story. Prologues focus on events that occurred prior to the main narrative to provide background and context. J. R. R. Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, Terry Pratchett, and George R. R. Martin all wrote…Read More

Creation Myths and World Building

“In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” – Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies. I have written how myths aren’t simply stories, but an attempt to explain why the world is the way it is. And since all cultures share a quest to understand where they came from, it’s no surprise that many have forged…Read More


“I love playing with myths. A lot of it has to do with that they’re the basic places stories come from. They’re the clay that you make the bricks out of.” – Neil Gaiman Role of Mythmaking Mythmaking bears witness to the human spirit’s quest for knowledge. From the dawn of intelligence, humanity sought to…Read More

World Building

“World building has two parts. One is the actual creation. The other is bringing the world into your story. Everything you create should not be in your story.” – Patrick Rothfuss In my blog post about the suspension of disbelief, I describe how writers of speculative fiction must persuade readers to let go of reality…Read More

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