9 Steps for Adding Genuine Depth to Your Story9 Steps for Adding Genuine Depth to Your StoryJosephBlakeParker
(Or Ridding Your Story of Pseudo-depth)
When writing a story, one of the most important aspects to the writer will be the themes. In other words, the message you want to tell the world through your characters, plot, and struggles. However, even stories with a good message often fail on a number of levels, or else try to be deep but come off sounding ridiculous. Today, I'm going to talk about how to create genuine depth in the themes, characters, and dialogue of your story, without turning it into a sermon.
Step 1: Focus on the story and perfect it, long before you worry about the themes.
This is the single greatest failing of most stories with messages. The writer is so focused on them, that they forget the medium altogether. And as important as you think a message is, it is worthless if devoid of a concrete story. So craft your story around something tangible and solid—something that would be wonderful if there were no message whats
Watchers may have noticed I''m a tabletop RPG nerd. So I figured it was about time to draw up a few of the characters I've made.
Left side: Azathoth, the nuclear demon sultan. Yes, loosely based on the one from the Cthulhu mythos, because I love bad puns. A wild sorcerer and a blast to play, came from a caliphate that ended up detonating in a freakish elemental-chaos based accident, leaving him the only survivor on the other side of the planet.
The artwork was an attempt to shade via pen and not Photoshop, and I succeed with the exception of the right hand, which just looks burnt.
Top right: Seth, made for a mouse guard session. A character ripped from whole-cloth because I thought using a fishhook as a weapon would be awesome. Huge pathfinding stats and no map-following skills, so he could find his way anywhere but not necessarily the SAME way each time. Owes the dock-master a ship, despite attempts to make a boat out of the body of a shrike.
Bottom left: My current character for a mechwarrior campaign. Was ORIGINALLY based on Satima from one-punch man, but who has since diverged quite a bit, with the exception of looking impressively generic. He picked up his mechdriving and repair skills from the draconis combine and since left them for a mercenary company due to irreconcilable philosophical issues, such as "your liege lord is basically god" and "seppku is the solution to all of life's dishonours." Shown here waiting for an opportunity to raise hell in a phoenix hawk.
A more successful experiment this one, involving lighting from multiple sources.