Just wanted to share some rules (or guidelines) that should/could potentially help you write more interesting and better stories (I'm not saying your stories are bad by the way ). They come from Pixar, who are pretty good at telling stories the last time I checked... A few of these in particular I swear by and use all the time and they've really helped me so I wanted to highlight a few: #7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front. This really helps me write more creatively and goal-oriented. I used to start at the beginning, write the middle part and then try to write an ending. It was like trying to find my way through a forest without any map or directions and I usually stumbled around, trying different paths and then in the end sitting down in the middle of the forest and call it an ending. Now that I plan out exactly how the story will end first, I have the map, I have the direction, I know where I'm going. That also makes it a lot easier to put obstacles in my MC's way, take some interesting detours, try out other paths, because I know they all serve the ending which is clear in my mind. I know this is a personal preference, but it can't hurt to try right? #12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself. This rule I use almost religiously. The reason for this advice (I believe) is first of all because the first few ideas you get are usually based on things you've seen many, many times before, even if you can't remember in that exact moment where you've seen them before, and secondly because the first ideas you get are, naturally, the most obvious ones. Whenever I'm planning an ending or I'm just in the middle of a scene and I ask myself 'what happens next?', I write down a list with numbers from 1 to 5. Then I fill in the first five ideas I get and promise myself I won't use any of them. What happens is, often after many frustrating minutes, I come up with the 6th idea, an idea that makes the first five seem obvious, boring and done to death. I'm not gonna claim that all the ideas I end up with are groundbreaking, original and absolutely masterpieces, but trust me when I say that they are at least a lot better then the first idea I had It's important to note that I'm not suggesting that you should follow all 22 rules (I'm not sure I wanna call them 'rules' even as it sounds like something you must not break!) and depending on who you are you might not want to use any of them. But hopefully some of you can get some inspiration or ideas from them or even improve your stories. I know it worked for me Edit: I meant to post this in the Plot Development thread and I have no idea how this showed up in the character development... Is there anyway to move it?