Author: J.K. Allen

13 Villain Cliches to Avoid
June 27, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

Villains can be a powerful force in our stories. After all, there is no story without conflict and villains provide that conflict. But too often, villains turn into clichés. Let’s look at 13 villain clichés to avoid. He wears all black, with maybe flashes of blood red. He has black eyes that bore into you.
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Writing a Strong Antagonist
June 20, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

This month we are talking about character development. There is one character that is often underdeveloped or cliché in our stories. The antagonist. Too often he is an all black wearing, mustache twirling, cackling villain who monologues too much for his own good. He’s a cardboard cutout and greatly weakens your story. So how do
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Two Steps to Developing Characters through Research
June 13, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

This month we are talking all about characterization. Characterization is important because characters bring our stories to life and create an emotional connection with our readers. Even with the most exciting plot, we need strong, well-developed characters to populate our world. And how do we develop our characters? With the right amount of research. There
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7 Steps to Well Rounded Character Development
June 6, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

Characters are the life of our stories and so it’s important to get them right. We don’t want flat characters, stereotypes, or clichés. You can have the best, most exciting plot, but it will fall flat if peopled by weak characters. So how do we develop our characters? Start with personality. Is she an extrovert
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Five Don’ts for World Building
May 30, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

Now, all month we have talked about world building here at OWS. We talked about the basics, diversity and world building, adding depth, and which questions to ask while world building. Today, let’s talk about some don’ts to avoid because good world building is not just what to do, but what not to do. Don’t
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20 Questions to Ask for World Building
May 23, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

This month we’ve been talking about world building and so today instead of talking about the general subject, let’s talk about questions you can ask yourself to get started on world building. So here’s 20 questions… What is the geography like? What is the terrain like? How does it differ from other areas? What is the climate
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Adding Depth to Your World Building
May 16, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

This week we continue to talk about world building. We started with the basics of world building and diversity in world building. Today let’s talk about some more things to keep in mind as you craft your world and add depth to it. Conflict is at the heart of story. What sort of place best
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Diversity and World Building
May 9, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

Now this month we are talking about world building. Last week we talked about some basics of world building, but today I thought we’d talk about diversity and world building. You don’t want to just rewrite the same old stories. You want to create new, diverse worlds that reflect our own expansive world. There are
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Basics of World Building
May 2, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

World building. Every writer has heard that phrase and you know it’s important, but what does it mean exactly? World building is more than just creating the setting, it means building up the universe your story takes place in. This involves everything from descriptions of the landscape and animal life to your world’s creation myth
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How to Overcome Writer Burnout
April 25, 2017 Writing Advice J.K. Allen

Writer burnout. It feels a lot like writer’s block. You sit down at your desk and stare at the blank page and your mind buzzes. You’re stressed to the max and just plain overworked and it’s showing up to haunt you. Burnout happens to us all too often as we push ourselves to do more
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