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Prayer for the Artist

Prayer for the Artist

Sister, I see your arms are trembling. Brother, I see your tears, your stone-set face, how this fire rattling in your bones, shut up no longer, has burned you in the telling.

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How to Avoid Cheap Grace When Redeeming a Villain

How to Avoid Cheap Grace When Redeeming a Villain

Few events showcase the power of redemption as beautifully as the repentance of a hardened villain. But few events undercut the nature of redemption as starkly as a villain who forsakes evil without self-reproach or fallout. Unfortunately, today’s media culture slants toward the latter. At Lorehaven, I’ve pointed out how various Marvel TV shows misrepresent redemption. But those aren’t the only offenders. Pixar’s Toy Story 4, as popular as it may be, never deals with Gabby Gabby’s manipulative tactics. And in the recent Star Wars trilogy, Kylo Ren chooses the light side during the climax without acknowledging the magnitude of his crimes.

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SE Podcast #43: Portraying Doubting or “Deconstructing” Christians in Stories

SE Podcast #43: Portraying Doubting or “Deconstructing” Christians in Stories

“Deconstruction” has become a popular term online over the past year to describe people who are rejecting certain Christian tenets and seeking other answers. Although the term is new, the phenomenon is not, and in today’s episode, Josiah DeGraaf, Daeus Lamb, Rose Sheffler, and Martin Detwiler discuss the importance of portraying doubting or “deconstructing” Christians in fiction.

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Midnight Thoughts

Midnight Thoughts

Midnight thoughts surround me, messy and monstrous, so I tread carefully. I slip between the forests built of whispers of words, searching for possibilities.

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4 Overlooked Benefits of Writing Articles about Story Craft

4 Overlooked Benefits of Writing Articles about Story Craft

You probably think that fiction and nonfiction are on opposite sides of the equator—and I would say that you are absolutely correct. Each have different sets of rules, audiences, and goals. One is entertaining and the other is informative. One keeps us on the edge of our seats and the other keeps us on the edge of our brains. One lifts us into another dimension and the other pushes us down to reality.

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Lessons Thanos and Ultron Teach about Creating Sympathetic Villains

Lessons Thanos and Ultron Teach about Creating Sympathetic Villains

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

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How to Write Humorous Stories (Even When You’re Not a Funny Person)

How to Write Humorous Stories (Even When You’re Not a Funny Person)

Everyone enjoys turning red in the face and struggling to breathe for a few seconds after a hilarious experience. Laughter lightens your mood, reduces stress, and even improves your immune system. On a relational level, humor helps you connect with others whether you’re swapping anecdotes in the same room together or reading a character’s wisecracks from a printed page. Humor makes stories more engaging overall, as well as balances out tenser scenes.

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