Posts Tagged ‘gaming’

Seven New Story Design Articles

March 15, 2012

Continuing my weekly Story Design Tips articles, featuring tips about story structure, story timing, identifying with characters, and more, here are links to the last eight articles:

Identifying with Characters, Part I: 3 ways to get the players/readers to identify with your character.

Identifying with Characters, Part II: Being able to make your players identify with a character is a tool that cuts two ways.

Character Orchestration: Your story is music. Your characters are the musical instruments.

Depth through Surprise: Use surprise to help you create depth of character.

Stories have timing. Here are the rules:

The First Law of Timing

The Second Law of Timing

The Third Law of Timing





3 Articles about Beautiful Endings

November 17, 2011

In my weekly Story Design Tips column in Gamasutra, I wrote three articles giving advice on how to write beautiful endings.


The first article talked about how to get the most of closure.


The second article talked about how to give readers a feeling of beauty in your beautiful ending.


The third article covered the emotional core of a beautiful ending.



Comedy Writing Tips: 7 Articles

September 22, 2011

In my weekly column/blog at Gamasutra, Story Design Tips, I’ve published a series of seven articles about writing comedy. Here they are:

In Writing Comedy, Part I I introduced my comedy bona fides and gave us a shortcut to writing comedy.

In Writing Comedy, Part II we tackled the first basic element of comedy: Over-exaggeration.

In Writing Comedy, Part III we tackled the second basic element of comedy: Under-exaggeration.

In Writing Comedy, Part IV we tackled the third basic element of comedy: Comic Distress. The difference between dramatic distress and comic distress is the fine line between drama and comedy.

In Writing Comedy, Part V we tackled the fourth basic element of comedy: The comic problem.

In Writing Comedy, Part VI we tackled the fifth basic element of comedy: Distance. The fifth element of comedy, surprisingly enough, isn’t funny.

In Writing Comedy, Part VII we explored the most basic structure of comedy, both in micro and in macro, and the large role logic has comedy.


Story Design Tips: 5 Articles about Dialogue

August 2, 2011

In my weekly column/blog at Gamasutra, Story Design Tips, I’ve published a series of five articles about the art of dialogue.


Article #1: The Art of Dialogue

Dialogue isn’t words. It’s actions. Words are only shadows of the actions.

Article #2: Dialogue as Vectors

Once you know what actions are, you can look at them as vectors: what we do is the result of opposing needs.

Article #3: What To Do With Characters When They Talk?

Dialogue in a visual medium means you need to solve what the characters physically do.

Article #4: How To Save Bad Dialogue

Sometimes bad dialogue can’t be changed. How do you save the scene? Here are a few tips.

Article #5: 10 Dialogue Don’ts

Here are ten often-repeated dialogue mistakes that you want to avoid.


Then there was another article, not about dialogue, but about consistency. Consistency in storytelling is a virtue. But is there a loophole that allows us to be inconsistent? The article wHen iS iT oKay tO bE InconsistenT shows you that loophole.

Consistency in story design is a virtue. But is there a loophole that allows us to be inconsistent?

Story Design Tips: 5 Articles about World-Building

June 20, 2011

In my weekly column/blog at Gamasutra, Story Design Tips, I’ve just published five articles about world-building.

Article #1: World-Building Needs Closed Doors.

World-building 101. This time: The world you’re building needs doors that will never open.

Article #2: 2 Fallacies in World-Building.

Creating new worlds means there are things you need to avoid doing.

Article #3: The 3 Building-Block Principles of World Design.

The building-blocks every new world needs.

Article #4: Basing World Design on a World That Works.

The real world is your best resource for creating imaginary worlds.

Article #5: New Worlds Need Dust and Rust.

If you’re designing a new world, don’t make the mistake of making it shiny and perfect.

Storytelling Tips: Articles for Gaming Companies

May 11, 2011

I have a new regular weekly blog at Gamasutra, a site for gamers and professionals in video game companies. The techniques of storytelling are often underused, overlooked, or ignored by game companies, which rely more on luck than on professional writers to write a good plot.

So far three articles have been published:

Article #1: How to Build a Mystery Within a Mystery in 7 Steps.

Article #2: How to Plan Big Plot Twists in 4 Steps.

Article #3: How to Turn Games into Art.