C.B. McCullough Loves Sequels… Sometimes

C.B. McCullough Loves Sequels… Sometimes Sequels: the double-edged sword of the film industry. Like all movie geeks, I love a good sequel, and I hate, hate, hate a bad one.  It’s a pity that such a vast majority of Part 2s fall into that second category.  So what do good sequels do right, where the bad ones go […]

The Writer’s Road

“Some, dreading that awareness of how they do what they do would cripple their spontaneity, never study the craft. Instead, they march along in a lockstep of unconscious habit, thinking it’s instinct. Their dreams of creating unique works of power and wonder are seldom, if ever, realized. They put in long, tough days, for no […]

Digital Plotting: 4 Steps To Visually Track Story, Plot And Character Arcs in Fiction

Body hunched and head bowed, hammering the keys, breaking the stream of words only long enough to grab the mug and gulp down coffee that’s been cold for hours: the writer at work, delving into territories unknown. We’ve romanticized the art of fiction to almost spiritual levels.  To hear some people talk about it, you’d think simply sitting […]

Why Do Sequels Suck? Comparing and Contrasting the Good, the Bad, and the Barf-tastic

Picture this. A great movie is released and gains critical acclaim. It dominates the box office and leaves audiences clamoring for more. Giddy with their own success, creators comply, announcing that the next chapter is on its way! Yeah, baby! A sequel: more of what you loved—bigger, better, faster, and stronger. But somewhere along the way, […]

Write Boldly

“Some, dreading that awareness of how they do what they do would cripple their spontaneity, never study the craft. Instead, they march along in a lockstep of unconscious habit, thinking it’s instinct. Their dreams of creating unique works of power and wonder are seldom, if ever, realized. They put in long, tough days, for no […]

Nerds Do It Better: Why Nerd Culture Cultivates a Better Understanding of Story

What does the term “great storytelling” mean to you? For many, it evokes names like Hemingway, Austen, Steinbeck, or Joyce. What probably doesn’t come to mind are titles like Star Wars, Mass Effect, Final Fantasy, Sherlock, or The Dark Knight. Literary classics, these titles are not, but I’m here to reveal a dirty little secret about all the stuff your […]

Worth Dying For

“Values, the positive/negative charges of life, are at the soul of our art. The writer shapes story around a perception of what’s worth living for, what’s worth dying for, what’s foolish to pursue, the meaning of justice, truth– the essential values. In decades past, writer and society more or less agreed on these questions, but […]