Buffy the Vampire Slayer rocked our world, and it remains one of the all-time greatest TV shows. The story of a fated vampire-hunter who tries to live a normal life in high school, Buffy still has few worthy successors. And it has so much to teach us about good writing.
There’s no magic bullet for being a decent writer, or making people bond with your characters or fall in love with your story. Writing is a million different skills and challenges, and each story is different. But the more I struggle to make this work, the more I think there’s one key thing that makes writing more…
We all love characters who are good at what they’re doing. Nobody wants to root for someone who screws up constantly or walks into traps we can see a mile away. But at the same time, it can be hard to love someone who’s too perfect. So how do you make us believe in, and love, a major badass?
“I’m bored.” These two words are the hardest thing to admit, when you’re writing your deathless novel, or screenplay, or short story. You’re supposed to be creating a work of timeless brilliance. How can you be bored?
Hollywood people often say that it’s a miracle there are any good movies at all. Because so much can go wrong, and so many random things have to go right, for a movie to avoid being a hopeless disaster. I can believe this, because in general the difference between the good and bad versions of the same story is often…
The best science fiction and fantasy stories are impossible to tear yourself away from — and often, that thrilling sense of momentum comes from the sense that the danger to the world keeps getting bigger and scarier. But how do you raise the stakes without sacrificing your characters?