Brandon Miller

Story Embers Head Writer

Raised on C. S. Lewis and matured (to whatever extent) on Tolkien, Brandon Miller is a huge fan of Christian speculative fiction. His favorite stories artfully bend physical reality to reveal spiritual realities that apply to all realms, kingdoms, districts, and solar systems (including our own).

When not writing fiction, Brandon spends his time landscaping the great outdoors, sportsing, or romancing his all-star and lifelong co-author, Megan.

How to Create Characters with Relatable Emotions

How to Create Characters with Relatable Emotions

Great stories have a broad emotional range that sends readers looping through laughter, soaring toward ecstasy, and plummeting into despair. When we open a new book, we hope it’s our ticket to a rollercoaster we’ll never forget. Unfortunately, building this thrill ride as a writer is challenging.

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How to Explain Technology and Magic in Speculative Fiction without Dragging the Story

How to Explain Technology and Magic in Speculative Fiction without Dragging the Story

One of the biggest challenges with writing speculative fiction is clarifying how your story’s magic and/or technology works. Once you’ve accomplished the monumental task of developing those systems, how do you educate readers without making them yawn? They don’t want you to pause the story to give a lesson on all the phenomena, yet they don’t like being confused (and prone to disbelief) either. (Aren’t readers exasperating?)

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How Fawkes Uses Complex Issues to Create Honest Storytelling

How Fawkes Uses Complex Issues to Create Honest Storytelling

Sometimes a book’s theme is straightforward. Eustace is sucked into a painting and learns humility. Henry York crawls through a cupboard and learns bravery. Parvin Blackwater crosses the wall and learns to trust God. But the path to transformation isn’t always that simple. Characters may need to wander through labyrinths of tyranny, persecution, murder, neglect, and revenge.

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How to Write Emotion-Grabbing Romance without Sex Scenes

How to Write Emotion-Grabbing Romance without Sex Scenes

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie where the interaction between two lovers became graphic? Have you ever been absorbed in an adventure story and suddenly had to skim unnecessarily steamy scenes? I have, and I hate it. Not only does the sensuality rip me out of the story and make me roll my eyes, it taints the characters (and prevents me from recommending an otherwise great novel).

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A 5-Step Guide to Reviving Dead Projects

A 5-Step Guide to Reviving Dead Projects

“I started a project a few years ago and wrote a chunk…but I never finished it. What should I do now?” I’ve heard this tale from every writer ever. We’ve all had a project sputter and die at some point in our journey. When we take a break for too long, restarting the engine can be difficult. The abandoned story probably bores us, and we may have trouble remembering the timeline and the different character motivations that propelled it.

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Make Promises, Not Traps: How to Write Honest and Engaging First Lines

Make Promises, Not Traps: How to Write Honest and Engaging First Lines

I rarely buy stuff on impulse, not even books. When I bring home a book I hadn’t planned to get, it’s because the cover and the first line grabbed my attention. Cover design usually isn’t an author’s responsibility, and even if you’ll be involved in yours, that comes at the end of the writing process. Instead of worrying about that prematurely, I want to talk about the other half of the equation—a story’s beginning.

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Lessons Thanos and Ultron Teach about Creating Sympathetic Villains

Lessons Thanos and Ultron Teach about Creating Sympathetic Villains

What was the difference between Infinity War and Age of Ultron? Why was one shocking and fantastic while the other was shallow entertainment? The producers didn’t recast half the Avengers or cross more fingers when Infinity War hit theaters. But, where Age of Ultron was predictable, Infinity War was riveting. Where Age of Ultron was funny, Infinity War was impactful and humorous (props to the writers).

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