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A Writer's Tool On Writing Writing Tools

A Writer’s Tool: Note Taking


Earlier this week, I toyed around with this idea that I got a few months back. It all started while I was watching the Brandon Sanderson BYU lectures on YouTube (a great resource that you can access for free on his channel). In the lecture (I don’t remember which one) he talked about the writer’s toolbox. These are just tools/methods that different writers use. He then went on to say that even if you don’t necessarily use every single tool, it’s good to know them. So this past week, I’ve been thinking about my “toolbox.” I then began to think, “maybe I could do a series on different ‘tools’ that I use or that other writers use.”

So here we are!

Today, I’m going to go over something that most people might think a simple tool that doesn’t require much thought, but it truly can be invaluable to writers. That thing is note-taking.

Everyone has taken notes in some way, shape, or form. Whether that is in a classroom, church, a meeting with your boss, or just a reminder for something you need to accomplish later. Everyone takes notes.

But why do writers take notes? Why should they take notes? What should writers take notes on? I’ll go over these questions one at a time, but both answers are quite simple.

Why do writers take notes? This question really doesn’t apply just to writers. Why does anyone take notes? Well, we forget things quite easily, so we write notes to remind ourselves of something. Sometimes we write notes so we can access all the information in one place, and sometimes we write notes to organize our thoughts.

But, why should writers take notes? Well, if you’re like me, you probably get the best ideas for stories at the most random places and times. One of the things I like to do is to carry some form of note-taking wherever I go. More on that in a minute though. Another reason why you should take notes is for reference purposes. I like to go over my notes from different writing videos just to review them and refresh my thoughts on the subject. That’s why it’s good to title your notes! It helps you know what you took these notes on.

What should writers take notes on? Alright, this one will take a bit more time. I don’t want this to be an article that says “just take notes on everything important you hear and that comes to your mind.” Because the best ideas tend to stick with you for a while. If the best ideas are gonna stick with you, why should you write anything down? Well, one big idea for your story isn’t the whole plot! It’s a good idea to write down ideas that you have that you think might be good. But really, what notes you take on your work in progress is really up to you (It could also be called outlining, but we’ll go over that in-depth in a later post). If we’re talking taking notes in classes, videos, or books, I tend to take notes (or underline in a book. Only non-fiction books though!) to help me concentrate on what I’m reading or listening to. I tend to like to write down the main points of the speaker and key tips and tricks that they give. But don’t try and find the key tips and tricks that others got from the video/book/lecture, listen close and write down the tools you find helpful. If I’m watching a video, I go back and write down the exact wording of the speaker. Notes are just really helpful to you when you’re like, “what was that guy saying about this?” And just because you take a note on something doesn’t mean you have to use it later. I’ve taken numerous notes on ideas and I open it a week later and I think to myself, “what in the world was I thinking? That’s an awful idea!” That’s just how it goes sometimes! Writers don’t only get good ideas, they can get bad ones too. You don’t have to use every idea. I tend to only use the ones that I am passionate about and will enjoy writing.

What are some tools that you can use as a writer to take notes? It really will come down to your personality to how you take notes. I use the notes app on my phone to take notes on the go frequently. I also have several different notebooks that I bring with me when I go somewhere to have a writing session. Another tool I’ve used is Scrivener (I use this program for writing my books. I might write an article on it at a later date. Basically, it’s a word processing system built for writers). For several projects (mainly the science fiction one, the screenplay, and the short story collection), I have a running section in which I just fill it with ideas. I know of some writers who just use sticky notes and stick them in places that they can see so that idea stays fresh on their mind. It just comes down to your personality and what works for you. There is no wrong way to take notes!

Note-taking really comes down to the writer. How you take notes is based on your personality. What you take notes on is what you as a writer feel is important to note. I personally have filled up an entire notebook on just different aspects of Enaxelet (my fantasy world) whether that is creatures, history, character, etc. I also have a notebook dedicated to just taking notes from different classes I take on creative writing. Then I have a few documents on Scrivener I just list different ideas for those projects on.

I encourage you to experiment a little bit and find your way of taking notes! What works for you as a writer? What do you feel the need to take notes on? How do you take notes? Let me know in the comments below!


Thanks for reading! If you want to get updates on when new blog posts come out, subscribe to my newsletter, “The Raven,” and be the first to get updates and exclusive updates on my writings! If you want to contribute to the conversation, please comment below! I will try to respond to all comments!


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On Writing Reading

The Importance of Chapter One (or the Prologue)

So why is the first chapter so important? The first chapter is many things, but it ultimately helps the reader decide if they want to keep reading. As writers, we want our readers to keep reading our story. The first chapter is our best bet at getting them to keep reading.

So, what can we do as writers to keep readers interested in our book? Well, there are a few things that I’ve seen done in other books that are good examples to follow. We don’t need to do every single one of these things as writers, they aren’t rules you must follow. They are just things that other writers have done that helped their book.

The first thing the first chapter can do to successfully keep their reader is to hook the reader. You might ask, “what is the hook?” Well think of it this way, it’s like what a fisherman does. You put something that the fish will want on the hook so that the fish will bite into it and the fisherman can catch the fish. Well, we as writers want to “hook” our readers. Generally, the hook comes in the first couple of sentences. And one of the best ways that a writer can “hook” their readers is by getting the readers to ask questions. Let’s look at an example:

“Wind howled through the night, carrying a scent that would change the world. A tall Shade lifted his head and sniffed the air.”
-Prologue of Eragon by Christopher Paolini

While this is not technically the first chapter of Eragon, it is the first thing that the reader is going to read so its goal is still to hook the reader. Notice how Paolini is getting the reader to ask questions with these first two sentences. Why would the scent change the world? What is the scent? What is a Shade? Is he human? We want our questions answered, so the only thing to do is to keep reading. Paolini has now hooked us.

The hook also contains action. We as readers can infer that action is about to happen. And a good hook makes us wonder why this action is happening, thus motivating us to keep on reading. This is a greater hook that can carry on for the entire chapter, and sometimes even a good bit of a book, maybe even a series (apparently, the classic fantasy series The Wheel of Time’s prologue isn’t fully explained for a couple of books). This is a greater hook that gets us to finish the chapter, and sometimes even the book.

Let’s look at another example of a hook from a fantasy classic:

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”
-Chapter One of The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

This one gets us to ask questions, but an action scene is clearly not taking place. So how does Tolkien hook us? Well, he makes us ask a big question, what is a hobbit? He goes on to describe where the hobbit lives, but he still gives us very little information on hobbit’s themselves. We as readers keep asking the question, and so we keep reading. This is a good example of using description to hook a reader. Chapter One of The Hobbit doesn’t do much at the beginning of the chapter but describes the lives of hobbit’s, particularly Bilbo Baggins and his family. By the time we have found our answer to “what is a hobbit?” we want to know more about Bilbo, and so we are successfully hooked as readers. This leads us to the next point.

The second thing the first chapter can do to successfully keep their reader is to get the reader to want to know more about your protagonist, especially by teases. You don’t want to give away the whole backstory of your protagonist in chapter one. If you are able to keep teasing the reader, they will want to keep coming back for more.

As I tried to think of an example of this, I thought about the Prologue of Mistborn: The Final Empire. It successfully teased Kelsier, giving us just enough information for the readers to want more of him. Sanderson gave us teases of Kelsier’s backstory while setting a scene that made us fall in love with the character. By the end of the chapter, we’re hooked and want more of Kelsier.

The last thing the first chapter can do to successfully keep their reader is to start the chapter with a bang. I touched on this a little bit in my first point, but I wanted to expound on it a little more. When we as readers are thrown into the middle of an action scene, it can be a little much. So you really have to give a balance of the action and explanation of things. It can draw the reader in, or will turn them away. So you have to be sure to enter in the right place and give just enough information that the reader won’t be too confused. And an action scene doesn’t have to be a sword fight or gunfight, it can be someone driving down the road to the grocery store!

So in summary, great first chapters (or prologues depending on the book) have shown us how to start off books well in three different aspects. They successfully hook the reader at the beginning of the chapter. They successfully tease the protagonist, giving the reader just enough to want to know more about them.

So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with me? Let me know in the comments below!

From my pen to your paper, may our swords never clash.


Thanks for reading! If you want to get updates on when new blog posts come out, subscribe to my newsletter, “The Raven,” and be the first to get updates and exclusive updates on my writings! If you want to contribute to the conversation, please comment below! I will try to respond to all comments!


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On Writing

Why I Use the Three-Act Story Structure

There are many story structures out there. Now while I know of only a handful, I have already chosen the one I’m going to use for the rest of my writing (or until I become a lot more experienced and decide its not for me).

I use the three-act story structure format. If you’re not familiar with it, I’ll give a quick recap of what it is below.

There are, obviously, three different acts in the three-act format.

The first one is the introduction of the protagonist and the protagonist’s normal world, hinting at the conflict that is coming. A major event occurs in this act and the protagonist’s life is changed. This is followed by what is called the first plot point. The first plot point is the point of no return for the protagonist. They cannot go back to the normal world. This act is generally the first 25% of the story.

The second act is generally broken into two parts by the midpoint, which we’ll get to in a second, the first half is the protagonist’s reaction to what happened in the first act. Then the midpoint comes and they learn new information, usually advancing the plot in relation to the conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist. The midpoint is also called the second plot point. This act is generally the largest chunk of your story, being around 50% of the story,

The third act is the climactic act. It starts with the third plot which is a major loss for the protagonist, such as a mentor dying or something of that nature. They generally react to that loss, more motivation is given, and then you get the climactic encounter between the protagonist and the antagonist. Then comes the resolution and end to the story.

There are a lot of subpoints to the acts of what is supposed to happen during those acts to keep the plot going, but I won’t address all of those right now.

So why do I use the three-act story structure?

Well, it makes the most sense to me for one thing. I see story structure that works almost like a triangle with the line going flat and then sharply curving upward and then back down again. That really isn’t how most stories work. The line going up to the climax is more gradual and then the line going down is a lot more drastic. The three-act structure makes it seem a lot more believable.

I’ve also found it’s very detail-oriented. It helps you ask questions about why things are happening and it breaks the story into enough chunks that you aren’t left with a huge chunk of story that you don’t know what happens. It makes sure that you have a general knowledge of what happens every 25ish% of the story.

So I use the three-act structure because it makes the most sense and is detail-oriented. But the story structure you use is purely a personal preference, nothing more. I prefer the three-act structure, but that doesn’t mean it’ll work the best for you!

What is your prefered story structure? Let me know in the comments below!

From my pen to your pape, may our sword never clash.


Thanks for reading! If you want to get updates on when new blog posts come out, subscribe to my newsletter, “The Raven,” and be the first to get updates and exclusive updates on my writings! If you want to contribute to the conversation, please comment below! I will try to respond to all comments!


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Music On Writing

The Music in Writing

I listen to a lot of music. A LOT of music. I listen to music while doing school, while I’m writing, pretty much if I’m doing something, music is going in the background.

While I listen to the normal pop songs and such, orchestra music, particularly scores from movies and TV shows, have a special place in my heart. This is because they give me inspiration when I need it.

Now I have no musical talent whatsoever. I’m not here to teach you how to write music or play music. I’m here to talk about how music inspires me.

Now I write Epic Fantasy as many of you know, so that requires a lot of creativity and effort if you want to tell an original story and world. I don’t want to copy what J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, or Patrick Rothfuss did (though I have only read two of those four authors, I promise I’m working on catching up!). I want to take what I liked about their stories, and twist them into something new, something different from what they’ve written, while still similar enough that it has the components that I and other readers enjoy.

Music helps me create. I don’t know what happens, but when I start listening to tracks like Hans Zimmer’s Time, Howard Shore’s The Breaking of the Fellowship, or pretty much anything by Ramin Djwaldi, I get inspired. Something in my mind just clicks and the creativity just starts to flow. The music helps give me a background to what I have going on in my subconscious. I have had many ideas for different components in my various projects (I currently have three with two in the frying pan, one being much larger than the other, and another one which is on the back burner). The music gives me inspiration to write because it unlocks what is already going on in my mind.

Another thing about music is that there is an abundance of it out there. So many movies and films have been made at this point that I discover new scores what it seems like every day. With each new score, there is something new that it can inspire. I’ve recently been listening to the Hans Zimmer Sherlock Holmes scores because I’ve been working on a short story mystery and they get me into the right mood for outlining/writing the mystery. Now when I write my Epic Fantasy project, I generally listen to scores from fantasies, such as Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Westworld, Mission Impossible, you name it. I think part of why music inspires me is because it can help me visualize scenes. I haven’t even seen the movie or show three of the four of those scores are from! Yet I am able to get a feel from it for what I’m writing.

I am a huge music nerd if you haven’t been able to tell already. When a new movie comes out and I go see it, the first thing I do after seeing it is I go listen to the score. I did this with 1917, I had that score on repeat for hours. I look forward to new movies and shows for their scores because while movies can be really bad, the score can be really good for those movies! Currently looking forward to The Wheel of Time series, partly because I am about to start reading those books, and partly because it will be another fantasy score for me to listen to!

Now, this may have just been me rambling about my love for music, I hope it wasn’t. But more than that I hope that when you guys (or at least the five or six of you who actually read this blog) read my books that you will read something original and new, while still having that good feeling that you get when you read a new classic (like the one I got when reading Mistborn: The Final Empire). Many writers do different things to get themselves in the right writing mood.

Mine is music.

What is your favorite music score if you listen to them? If you don’t, what is the way you get into the mood for writing? Let me know in the comments below!

From my pen to your paper, may our swords never clash.


Thanks for reading! If you want to get updates on when new blog posts come out, subscribe to my newsletter, “The Raven,” and be the first to get updates and exclusive updates on my writings! If you want to contribute to the conversation, please comment below! I will try to respond to all comments!


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On Writing

What is the Most Important Part of a Book? Act Three

If you have not read Part One or Two, start here with Part One and then finish Part Two here.

So, we’ve reached the end. Act three.

This act typically ends our journey with the characters we’ve grown to love. It’s a sad goodbye (unless Disney decides to reboot your series for a less than stellar sequel trilogy).

Before we get into the points on why the third act is so good, I must put a stipulation. The third act can only be good if your first two acts did their job. Did you set up a protagonist that people cared for or are interested in enough to care about what happens in the third act? Are there enough hints to your twist ending so that it doesn’t feel random and out of nowhere? And is your antagonist set up as a dangerous conflict to your protagonist? If the answer is no to any of these, you might want to rework some of your first and second act, because if you leave any of these components out, your ending may not end up being as killer as you think it is.

Now, considering all of these things have been checked off, let’s look at why the third act is so good.

There are several reasons, here are three!

1. The first and most obvious thing is that we are given the last big confrontation between the antagonist and protagonist. It’s all built up to this. We finally get the big fight between them. This is generally a pretty awesome and satisfying part of the book. But it can also be shocking. You may not know how the hero will win, but you know they will win. But most of the time at a cost. They generally will lose something dear to them, sometimes not, but generally, you will see the loss of someone or something close to the protagonist. A good example of this is in the movie Super 8 (warning, if you have not seen this movie, major spoilers are to follow). In the movie, Joe has carried a locket that was his Mom’s for the course of most of the movie. It is fairly obvious that he treasures the object and that it reminds him of his mom. At the end of the movie when the alien is building its ship by taking the majority of the metal in Lillian, Ohio. As Joe, Alice, and their fathers watch the metal suck towards the ship. That’s when you see Joe’s locket start heading towards the ship, he grabs it, but the ship still needs it and isn’t complete without it. He lets go of the locket. He had to lose something that was precious to him in order to let the alien leave and therefore winning the movie’s struggle. This is also a great example of character growth, but that’s not what today’s post is about.

2. The second thing is the resolution. The third act concludes things, but the story doesn’t end after the antagonist loses. The story ends only once you have finished the last page or when the screen goes black. That’s when it ends, not before and not after. Do you know those last couple of chapters between the defeat of the protagonist and the end of the book? Those can help decide whether or not you like a book. There was an epic fantasy book that I read a couple of years ago, I won’t mention the name of it because some readers really like it. It was the first of a series and the series has yet to be finished as far as I know. I loved the beginning of this book and the middle. It was so drastically different from anything that I had read to that point. When I arrived at the third act, it went in a completely different direction then what I thought. The character did things that I as a reader did not think he would. I barely even finished it. I just skimmed the last couple of chapters. This really saddened me because I had grown close with the land and the laws and the main character, but the ending was such a disappointment. Now, every time I see a book by that author, I disregard it. So why am I telling you this? Your resolution needs to go along with what you have set up. If not, it disappoints readers like me. Another resolution is key to the third act is because it is the last time you interact with the characters. It’s your goodbye, and this leads to point three.

3. The last thing is the want to spend more time with the characters, also known as a hole. If the book did its job, and especially if it’s a part of a series and is the end of a series, you feel that hole. It’s over. All the time you spent with those characters, it’s over. Their story has been told. This only happens if the author has given a meaningful ending and has tied up all the plots and subplots in their novel. And when you finish, well that’s when you have to find a new book to read.

So why is the third act the most interesting part of a book? Because of the final conflict between the two opposing forces, the resolution, and the end that leaves you wanting more.

So that’s it! Three acts, which is your favorite? Be sure to comment below and let me know and comment anything you have to say relating to Act Three as well! I want to hear what you guys think!

From my pen to your paper, may our swords never clash.


Thanks for reading! If you want to get updates on when new blog posts come out, subscribe to my newsletter, “The Raven,” and be the first to get updates and exclusive updates on my writings! If you want to contribute to the conversation, please comment below! I will try to respond to all comments!


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On Writing

What is the Most Important Part of a Book? Act Two

This is part two in a three-part series. If you have not read part one, please do so here!

So before this became a three-part series, I had originally planned on doing just one post on why the middle part of the book is so important. But, as I got to thinking I realized that a case could be made for each section of the book. 

But why did I first think of the middle? Well, I had just finished Mistborn: The Final Empire (you can read my review here), and the ending was spectacular. As I thought about the book after I set the book down, I thought to myself “Why was that ending so good?” And the answer is pretty simple. Set-up. 

But why does set-up in the middle effect the way your book ends? We’ve all read that one book where the author was building up to a really great climax and then they suddenly did something completely different then what you thought, but the author didn’t foreshadow any of the ending. The ending still might be good, but it’s not as good as it could have been. Endings like this leave you unsatisfied and sometimes can sour the reader’s experience.

Now what I’m not saying is for you to tell your readers exactly what’s going to happen before it happens. That can also leave a reader unsatisfied as there was no surprise in the ending. 

So what does all of this have to do with the middle part of a book? Well, the second act usually does a good bit of foreshadowing. Now there are some exceptions where the ending is set up in the first act and the second act doesn’t do as much foreshadowing. But typically I feel as if there is a good bit of foreshadowing in the second act. 

Along with foreshadowing, the protagonist is usually given a major source of information or motivation in the middle of the second act. This can come as a backstory reveal, or a character seeing something that fuels the flames of their motivation. 

So the second act is essential in that it drastically sets up a satisfying ending for your readers, along with giving the protagonist motivation. Without foreshadowing or character motivation, your third act can be lackluster and not as enjoyable for the reader, even if it is a great ending!

Next week we’ll conclude the three-part series by exploring the final act of the book and why it’s important.

Please comment below with any additional things you have to say! I learn just as much writing these posts as you guys do, so I can easily miss things!

From my pen to your paper, may our swords never clash.


Thanks for reading! If you want to get updates on when new blog posts come out, subscribe to my newsletter, “The Raven,” and be the first to get updates and exclusive updates on my writings! If you want to contribute to the conversation, please comment below! I will try to respond to all comments!


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On Writing

What is the Most Important Part of a Book? Act One

What is the most important part of a book? It seems like a simple question, right? Well, it’s not.

I will put a disclaimer before you start reading: the answer will vary from person to person and it can depend on the book.

Books tend to be broken into three acts. Let me break those down for you.

The first act is typically where the main character is shown in their normal capacity. Nothing unusual has happened to them yet. There are hints, but the character is still “normal.” The first act typically ends when the character is forced out of their normal world in a way where they cannot return to life how it was.

The second act is typically a journey, either a physical one, an emotional one, or a spiritual one. The character typically grows and has several run-ins with the antagonistic force, and they typically learn something important. They also think they have won a victory of some sort at the end of the second act, right before the third act starts.

The third act is where all the strings come into place and our protagonist and antagonist have a confrontation. Usually, the protagonist loses at the very beginning and they are typically depressed by this and it takes a new motivation for them to have a renewed energy to battle against the antagonistic force. It’s usually after this that the protagonist faces the antagonist and they usually overcome the antagonist. Then comes the resolution where all the loose threads are tied up or are left untied and teased for a sequel.

Now arguments can be made for any section of the book being more important than others. Today I’m going to argue for the beginning. Next week I’ll make the case for the middle. And then the last article will be an argument for the end.

So why is the beginning the most important part of a book?

Well first, this is the very first thing that your readers will be exposed to. Your beginning is where you hook the readers. This is where they decide if they’re going to finish a book or not. I have a tendency to have to finish every book I start, I guess it’s part of my OCD. But if I find that I’m not going to finish a book, which has only happened a couple of times, I will put it down after Chapter Three or Four. It’s by then that you should be interested enough to finish the book, and if I’m not or I don’t like the plot or where it’s going, I’m going to set it aside and not finish that book.

Second, its where your plot is introduced. By the end of the first act, your readers should have a pretty good idea of the plot. Now, they shouldn’t be able to guess exactly how the book will end, but they should have a good idea of the direction the book is heading.

Third, they need to be introduced to the main characters by the end of the first act, particularly the protagonist. Generally, the reader will keep reading the book if the characters are interesting, but the plot is not. Now, I’m not saying make your plot really boring and your characters really interesting, in fact, please don’t. Make both amazing so that the reader will have a really great experience.

So the most interesting part of a book is the beginning because it is the first thing the readers read, it introduces the plot, and it introduces the characters who you go on to like.

Next week, we’ll look at why the 2nd act is the best part of a book.

From my pen to your paper, may our swords never clash.


Thanks for reading! If you want to get updates on when new blog posts come out, subscribe to my newsletter, “The Raven,” and be the first to get updates and exclusive updates on my writings! If you want to contribute to the conversation, please comment below! I will try to respond to all comments!


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On Writing Reading

Why Do You Need Interesting Characters?


I have been thinking about this topic a good bit lately. Interesting characters. Why do we need them? Isn’t it the plot that keeps us coming back? In a sense, yes, it is the plot that keeps us coming back. But, in another sense, no, the plot isn’t what keeps us coming back.

I recently read Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis. I have enjoyed other works by Lewis, mainly The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters, but I had never read The Space Trilogy. So, I thought I would give it a shot. Well, turns out, it was a little bit dull. But, being one who has to finish a book once they start it, no matter what, I persevered. Now it wasn’t the most fun book I’ve ever read, but I kept coming back, not willing to put it down. And I can tell you it wasn’t because of the plot, in fact, I kept holding out for the plot to get better, and it really didn’t. But, the character of Ransom kept me coming back. He was a dynamic character who had some really interesting attributes. This character kept me coming back, even with the lackluster plot.

Another example is my current read, Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. Now the plot is amazing, super intricate, and dazzling. It is like nothing I’ve read before. But, the plot may be really good, but it is the character of Vin and Kelsier that keep me coming back. Kelsier is a mysterious character who we keep learning tidbits of information about, which makes him an interesting character to read. We as readers want to know more about him and what he has done, and the little teases fuel the flames of curiosity. The character of Vin is also an interesting character. She has some unique abilities which allow her to do things that people of her status should not be able to do. She is thrown into many unique situations and our curiosity as readers grow as more and more backstory is shown.

So what can we learn from this?

First, I believe that in order for a character to be interesting, they need to be unique. Now, this doesn’t have to be the case for every character ever written. But they need to be unique in some sort of sense. They might be a normal person who works a nine to five job, but a reader isn’t going to read about them working nine to five, they want to read about the thieving that same character does after hours.

Second, interesting characters need to have an interesting backstory. Why does that thief commit robbery? What motivations does he have from his past? The characters that readers don’t care about are the characters who do things with no motivation and no reason. Characters that people care about have had interesting things happen to them and have a good reason for doing things.

Third, the author needs to reveal the bits of information that make up the character’s backstory slowly. If the reader gets all the characters backstory at once, 1) they will get too much information at once with no reason why that information is important, resulting in an info-dump. 2) They won’t have reason to keep reading. If the author skillfully reveals the backstory in small portions, leaving the reader in a sense of suspense. They will want to keep coming back to learn more about the character.

There are many aspects to characters that go into interesting characters. These three points are things that I have noticed lately in my readings in both Mistborn: The Final Empire and Out of the Silent Planet.

From my pen to your paper, may our swords never clash.


Thanks for reading! If you want to get updates on when new blog posts come out, subscribe to my newsletter, “The Raven,” and be the first to get updates and exclusive updates on my writings! If you want to contribute to the conversation, please comment below! I will try to respond to all comments!


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On My Writings On Writing

Learning From Our Detestation


Unfortunately, I started my Chemistry class today. I have never been a big fan of Science in general, but have always done fairly well in it (I finished Biology with a 93% a couple of weeks ago). I have heard from friends and family that Chemistry is the worst one of them all. So I have been dreading the arrival of doing it.

But today, I decided to have a different perspective on it. It may not be my favorite subject, in fact, it probably will be my least favorite subject. But, I am going to commit to learning it the best I can and doing the best I can in the class.

You may ask why? Well, my Dad wisely advised me to look at the subjects I dislike in a different fashion. He said that I should look at everything I learn as giving me more knowledge that I can put towards writing. Take Science for example. I am learning Chemistry right now, and this is giving me an opportunity to think about how a Chemist thinks and works. So if I ever write a character that works as a Chemist, I will know how to write that character better. And if I ever write a Science Fiction Novel (I actually have had the wheels turning and have been thinking about that lately, no promises on when), I will be better equipped to write the Science in Science Fiction. I believe that my writing will greatly improve from this decision and I look forward to seeing how.

So I have decided I am going to put more effort into the subjects I dislike. I’m going to see what I can learn so that I can write things I may not care about now (such as a Chemist), but things that I may need to know in later novels. It’s gonna be hard because my tendency is to hate the subject I dislike and just complain about it, but I also look forward to challenges, and this is gonna be a challenge.

Please comment below! I want to hear what you guys think about this!

From my pen to your paper, may our swords never clash.


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On Writing Something We Can Learn From Films

On Character Redemption


A trend I have noticed lately in storytelling, particularly Star Wars’ storytelling, is the redemption arc of certain villains. 

Quick Warning: If you have not seen Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker yet, spoilers are to follow.

A noticeable twist that takes place in both Rise of Skywalker and Return of the Jedi is the redemptive arcs of both Vader and Kylo Ren/Ben. I stand in the position that both arcs worked out for the better. 

Both Vader and Kylo Ren start out as the main villain of their respective trilogies. By the end of those trilogies, they have redeemed themselves as characters, and fans begin to love those characters. But then the characters’ lives are cut short.

So that brings up the question, does a redeemed character have to die?

I would argue yes, though a masterful writer can redeem their character and keep them alive. 

Kylo Ren/Ben Skywalker is the perfect example of why a redeemed character needs to die. In Rise of Skywalker, Kylo Ren is conflicted the whole movie. He cannot decide if he wants to submit to the emperor and kill the scavenger, Rey. While on Endor his inner confliction rises to a peak when a memory of his father appears. After replaying a scene that happened in The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren tosses the sith saber into the seas of Endor and becomes Ben. But later, Ben dies saving the hero of the trilogy, Rey. This character’s death is the completion of Ben’s arc. He dies to save the one he had wanted to kill just earlier in the series.

Ben’s death is a sacrifice, and it’s a sacrifice for the good of another person. That person was someone he had wanted to kill earlier. Ben shows his redemption by paying the ultimate sacrifice. Thus proving he is a redeemed character. 

Vader does the same thing in the original trilogy. He sacrifices his life for the son he had wanted to kill just moments earlier. 

Now I am not saying that Rise of Skywalker was without its flaws, it had quite a few. But the redemptive arc of Kylo Ren was a really well-done aspect of the film. In fact, I would probably say it was the most well-done plot aspect of the film.

So what can we learn as writers from this?

Well first, I think that in order for character redemption to be believable, there needs to be some symbolic change. In Rise of Skywalker, there were two symbols. The first was when Rey killed Kylo Ren. The second was when Ben threw the sith saber into the sea. These were symbols of Ben’s turning away from his old ways.

The second thing is that when a writer chooses for a redeemed character to die, they must be sacrificing themselves for the good of another. Ben sacrifices his own life to save Rey, showing that his heart has changed for the good. He has given up the most valuable thing he has, his life, to save her, thus completing his redemption.

So when redeeming characters, authors should show symbolic change. And if the author chooses for the character to die, they also should be sacrificing themselves to help others, thus completing their redemptive arc showing change.

Now, these are just a couple of the things we can learn from Star Wars, not all of the things we can learn. Star Wars has been around for so long and has told many stories, that there are many things that we can learn.

From my pen to your paper, may our swords never clash.


Thanks for reading! If you want to get updates on when new blog posts come out, subscribe to my newsletter, “The Raven,” and be the first to get updates and exclusive updates on my writings! If you want to contribute to the conversation, please comment below! I will try to respond to all comments!


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