I'm sick of saving the world: The case for smaller-scale stories

Sometimes it feels like the genre tales I love are in a storytelling arms race to constantly raise the stakes. We can't even just have the world under threat - it's the solar system, it's the galaxy, hell, throw in the whole damn universe while you're at it. What's happened to the small-scale hero in big entertainment? » 9/08/14 5:48pm 9/08/14 5:48pm

Is It Time To Retire The Word "Epic"?

You'll see lots of rants on the internet claiming the word "epic" is overused. It's become a blanket synonym for "fun," and people say "I had an epic bath" with zero irony. But maybe this is just a symptom of a larger problem. Maybe the word "epic" in general has lost all meaning, including when we talk about fantasy. » 7/03/14 12:37pm 7/03/14 12:37pm

Anthropomorphic Animals Make It Harder To Learn Science

"Yum, these grass and plants are delicious!" Mother cavy thinks as she eats her breakfast. "I will feed some to my baby cavies too!" she says. The baby cavies love to play in the grass! But they've gotten all dirty! "Time for your bath," Mother cavy says. Mother cavy and her babies like to spend the afternoon… » 3/31/14 3:45pm 3/31/14 3:45pm

Has Creepypasta Reinvented Classic Folklore?

If you ever read a story online about a haunted TV episode, you've already eaten the creepypasta. Scary viral stories, images, and vids, often very short, are creepypasta — some will scare you so much that they've been nicknamed "shitbrix." And they could be the closest thing we have to folklore in the twenty-first… » 1/06/14 5:21pm 1/06/14 5:21pm

Watch J.J. Abrams explaining why Star Wars is all about the "Mystery…

One of the biggest worries about J.J. Abrams directing Star Wars is that he'll bring his penchant for mysteries for the sake of mysteries to the relatively straightforward universe George Lucas built. But this clip from his 2007 Ted talk, posted on Reddit yesterday, shows Abrams arguing that Star Wars was always… » 1/31/13 2:14pm 1/31/13 2:14pm

Must Read: 20 Essential Tips on Rewriting Your Story Until it Shines

A big part of the revision process in fiction-writing really is re-vision, seeing your story anew. And over at Necessary Fiction, this month's "Writer in Residence," Matthew Salesses, offers 20 absolutely indispensible tips on making your fiction much, much stronger. Including a lot of stuff I've never seen before,… » 7/03/12 7:30am 7/03/12 7:30am