Posts belonging to Category Plot

Recurrences, Plot and Catch-22

We all know about recurring villains. They’re fun, they save you chargen, they exist as reasons for the PCs to get better and as targets for them to go strike at when they might be otherwise unmotivated—in short, they’re blasted useful, so we use them. Good stuff. On the other hand, that means that every [...]

Choosing a Main Character

This was supposed to have gone up a week ago. I don’t know why it didn’t.
A lot of us writers have it easy. We have one strong character idea and are ready to center a story around them, or we have a strong plot idea and just need to design a character who can [...]

Three (and a Half) Narrative Uses of Weather

Weather is one of the easiest things for a writer to forget. It’s all around us, but while it impacts us, it doesn’t always impact us much—modern conveniences tend to work around the worst of it, unless it’s reached the point of catastrophe. As a result, a lot of us—particularly those of us in “Weather? [...]

Selling a Conflict: Two Key Points for Your Players

All of the conflicts I’ve seen work have made two major points to the players/characters: It has to be you, and it has to be now.
It has to be you. This is probably the most important of the two, playing as it does to the egos of the players—and to the verisimilitude of the overall [...]

Executing Temptation

I talked yesterday about what makes a temptation plot interesting—but while it went into the theory and the meta-game rewards, it didn’t talk near enough about the execution. So let’s talk about what you need to think about when you’re putting together a temptation plot.
The first thing to keep in mind with temptation plots is [...]

The Joys of Temptation

We’re all familiar with the temptation plot—the offer of something important to a character in exchange for some often minor-sounding price—do something she wasn’t supposed to/didn’t want to do, don’t do something she was supposed to/did want to, stand aside for just five minutes at the right time…. yeah. Those. The ones where, regardless of [...]

On the Dropping of Mountains

Is there any writer—GM—creator of any sort who has not at some point dropped a metaphorical mountain on at least one member of her cast? I don’t think so. Tragedy and trauma may not be quite as ubiquitous as ants in San Diego, but they come pretty close. It’s pretty easy to tell why mountain-hurling [...]

Map, Elaborate, Question: From Characters to World (and Plot!)

Yesterday, I talked about building a world around characters, rather than building enough of a world to mold characters into and moving outward from there. I’ve been toying with this recently, and I’ve found a pretty good sequence for trying to grow outward from one or two characters to a plot and a world.
I start [...]

Ravyn Freewrites: You Don’t Have to Build the World First?

I’ve always looked at putting together a story in a fresh new world as starting with the world, getting enough of it together to give yourself ideas, then sticking characters in it, then letting them bounce off each other until you have something approximating a plot. Wasn’t that how all the people with the really [...]

Guest Post: Broken Bridges

UZ’s guest posts continue!

There is a form of dishonesty that has gained popularity in recent writing, which for lack of a better term I will call the Broken Bridge technique. This is where the story presents a question that feels compelling, puts off addressing it and ultimately fails to answer it, but [...]