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3 Tips For Writing a Good Sequel Pt. 2

Recently, I talked about how to write a sequel that continues a story. These kinds of sequels (such as The Empire Strikes Back or Terminator 2) continue character arcs and plots that the previous story began, so the sequel has room to explore new territory. Other sequels, however, don’t continue plots or character arcs from …

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Was Edgar Rice Burroughs A Great Writer?

By the time Edgar Rice Burroughs died in 1950, he was almost certainly the most well-known and profitable author in the United States. He wrote over ninety novels (many still in print today) and created well-known characters such as Tarzan and John Carter of Mars. These characters’ adventures enthralled audiences, especially Tarzan’s adventures. Burroughs biographer …

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Terry Pratchett, Frank Miller and Using Rage to Fuel Good Writing

Here's one of writing's funny paradoxes: experts often say you should write about the things which move you, the things that really get you excited or angry or sad. But writing about what makes you angry can create lopsided stories where you just rant instead of telling the story. Is there a way to write …

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How Different People See Evil in Stories

How do people decide whether violence is acceptable in a story? To make this broader matter, how do they decide whether sex scenes and other possibly disturbing material (I'll call this "difficult material" from now on) are acceptable in a given story? After all, some people have no problem enjoying stories that have difficult material, …

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6 Powerful Books On Christian Art

Some time ago, I argued in one of my articles that a great way artistic Christians can connect with other churchgoers is by studying books together about art. Here are some of the best books I've read about how faith and art intersect (including the classic Art and the Bible by Francis Schaeffer): https://www.theodysseyonline.com/6-books-small-groups-studies-christian-art If you're …

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How to Fit Spiritual Themes in Stories Part 2

(Part 2 of 4, based on a workshop on fitting faith-based themes or symbols in mainstream stories. Here's Part 1 for those who missed it). Method 2: Explore characters who, by design or the role they play in stories, naturally have spiritual themes to them. great example. One great example of this is Superman. As …

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How to fit Spiritual Themes in Stories (Part 1)

Several weeks ago I lead a workshop with Professional Writing students at Taylor University, entitled "Superheroes, Symbolism and the Third Space: Writing Christian-themed Stories in Secular Entertainment." What is a Third Space? Third Space is a term I’m basing on a quote Scott Derrickson, director/co-writer of Dr. Strange said in an interview w/ RELEVANT magazine. Derrickson’s …

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