LUW Conference – Notes Part 5

Welcome to PART 2 of the Maxwell Alexander Drake panel notes. We continue on with what makes a hero and twelve steps you should consider when writing your story (especially if it’s an adventure-type story).

“Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” -Shakespeare

Why share this quote? Sometimes we’re afraid to let our heroes be heroes. Don’t hold your heroes back. Let the characters do what they’re going to do. Let your heroes be super heroic, villains super villainous.


  • A hero needs to be relatable.
  • A hero needs something that sets them apart.
  • A hero should not be perfect.
  • A hero should be a Doer – they accept the call.
  • A hero tends to live life on a razor’s edge.
  • A hero is willing to risk their life for others.
  • A hero should be willing to make sacrifices.
  • A Hero must always GROW and CHANGE.


  • A villain is normally established.
  • A villain needs to be relatable.
  • A villain needs something that sets them apart.
  • A villain should not be perfect.
  • A villain should be a Doer – they accept the call.
  • *A villain wants to succeed*
  • A villain tends to live life on a razor’s edge.

Do heroes and villains sound similar. There’s only one difference between them: you, the author. If you want to write a great villain, write them as if they were your hero. Because… There is no such thing as a “villain.” A villain believes they are the hero of their own story. They may take more extremes than the hero, but give them goals and motivations like you would your hero. Write them so they want to win and defeat the hero.

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LUW Conference – Notes Part 4

PLOT DEVELOPMENT by Maxwell Alexander Drake

Accept what type of writer you are. Whether you’re a pantser or a plotter or a little bit of both, know how you work and work with yourself. If you must outline things and spend time on the front end plotting out arcs and character development, spend the time and get it right. If you prefer flying by the seat of your pants and discovering what your story is by writing it with lots of rewrites later, go for it. Either way if you think about it, you’ll be doing the same amount of work either on the front end or the back end, but neither way provides a shortcut (if you want the best story possible).

And know that if you do outline you don’t have to stick to it like it’s written in stone. If your muse takes your story in a different direction, let it. Likewise as a pantser, if you get to a point where you need to take some time and write a few things down, it’s okay to do that too.

Being prepared as a writer does cut down on writer’s block (in Max’s experience). He prefers working out the details up front so that he has a good idea of where he’s going when he does finally sit down to write it.

Create a story that resonates with the reader. As yourself: Is this story going to have an impact on the reader? It’s okay to write things for yourself, but if you’re in the business of making a living off of your writing you’re going to have to consider your audience and what will resonate with them. You can’t just right things solely for the purpose of pleasing yourself. Although you should still be passionate about your project, otherwise it won’t be a good story.


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