4 Great Character Introductions in Film


You’ve got a great film hero and you’re just dying to make audiences fall in love with the character. How do you make that happen effectively? Introducing a character is no easy task, but it helps that there are dozens of examples of great introductions in film.

The best character introductions have a few things in common. They are efficiently shot, with nothing in the frame going to waste. They tell the audience the essentials about the character, usually without a lot of dialogue. And they get viewers invested not only in the character, but the film as a whole.

The list below is by no means comprehensive, but it represents what comes to my mind when I think of great character introductions. This being a purely subjective list, it is tinted heavily by my love of pop culture. That said, I do think that each of them stand out as great moments in cinema.

Read more at the Screamsheet!

What is the Most Important RPG Rule?

Player's Handbook

Role-playing games are filled with rules, sometimes spanning dozens of different books and supplements. However, most games lead off with some note in the preface that highlights the most important rule. This is Rule 0, and it’s usually there so everybody remembers to have fun. What Rule 0 is, though, varies from game to game and person to person.

Read more at Panic in the Skies!

Kids are Surprisingly Good at Spotting Bad Guys


How does a kid know the difference between good guys and bad guys in a story? As media becomes more nuanced, it’s sometimes hard to tell. On occasion, they might ask an adult if somebody is good or bad. Often, they have to decide on their own. Don’t worry — kids are remarkably insightful.

Any sort of conflict in a story can bring my daughter to tears. She screamed and openly sobbed when we took her to see Moana, then burst into hysterical laughter at the happy ending. Unfortunately, my wife and I never know what she might find scary or what will leave her completely unfazed.

Read more at BabyCenter.com!

Advice for Starving Writers (from a Starving Writer)


I typically avoid talking about the craft or business of writing because I’m not wildly famous or successful. But I have been a freelance writer for almost 20 years now with consistent publications in multiple media. So while I’m not a Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, I do know about this topic.

Then again, Stephen King and J.K. Rowling aren’t really Stephen King and J.K. Rowling, either. Both are outstanding writers and deserve all the success they’ve received, but getting where they are took no small amount of luck. The true secret to their success is that they took a one in a million chance and worked their butts off to continue improving and grow that luck into something big.

I’m not a celebrity author. Instead, I’m the guy that most freelancers can expect to become if they stick to writing long enough and get a few lucky breaks along the way. Writing doesn’t pay my bills, but it does provide enough supplemental income that I can support a family of four on a single moderate salary. You won’t find my name on many best-seller lists (though my novel Greystone Valley was there for about five minutes), but I’ve now spent a couple of decades sharing my stories with people. And here’s a few things I’ve learned during that time.

Read more at Panic in the Skies!

Out Now: Wayfinder #17

Wayfinder #17

Looking for a way to spice up your Pathfinder game with some free content, or just want to check out some great fiction by freelancers around the industry? The new issue of Wayfinder, the Pathfinder fanzine, is now available!

My contribution to this issue is the “Agents of the Worldwound,” a pair of NPCs that can help spice up any fantasy game but which are specifically tied to the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path.

Check it out! Download your free copy right here!