General Storytelling & Other Things

Notice - many articles have been moved to new locations, including Developing, Refining, & Troubleshooting Ideas, Plots & Plot Construction, Prose, Style, & Formatting, and Specific Plot Events, Scenarios, & Story Setups.

General Storytelling

Common Beginner Writer Mistakes
Mistakes frequently made by amateur writers - and occasionally even long-time professionals.

Framing: What It Is And How To Use It
Framing is what makes the difference between depiction and endorsement. Here's what you need to know to understand how framing works, and how to use it to your own story's benefit.

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

Explaining In Your Story: When You Should, When You Shouldn't, & How To Do It
When, where, and how should you explain something? Should you even explain it at all? Here's what you need to know to figure it out!

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

"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.

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.

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.

How To Convert Fanfiction Into Original Fiction
What you need to know and do to turn your fanfiction into something that's truly your own.

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.

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!

Using Symbolism, Metaphor, Subtext, & Coding In Your Story - Where And How
A brief intro to symbolism, metaphor, subtext, and coding; with some guidelines and tips for how and whether to use them in your work.

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.

The Problem With Making The Universe Revolve Around The Main Characters
When the universe revolves around the main characters, some pretty serious issues often start popping up. Here's what you need to know.

How To Evoke Audience Reaction & Keep Things Interesting Without Being Cheap Or Manipulative
There's a lot of questionable tactics writers resort to in order to try and keep their audience's attention. Here's a look at some of them, and what you can do instead.

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.

Common Problems In Christmas Stories - NEW!
Christmas-themed fiction relies on a lot of tropes and assumptions that have some very awful implications.

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

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.

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.

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.

Meta Stuff

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

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

What People Need To Know About The Creative Process
A lot of people have some pretty unhelpful misconceptions about this, so I'm gonna try to clear them up.

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.

Tips To Be A Good Creative Collaborator/Partner
What to know if you plan to collaborate with someone else - whether on a book, a roleplay, or something else.

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!

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.

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!

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

European Dragons: What You Might Not Know About Them
A lot of people think they know what European dragons are all about, but they are wrong. Very, very wrong. This article aims to correct some of these misconceptions.

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 - Updated 11/15/20!
If you plan to have science play any role in your story at all, read this.

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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