Analysis

Eight Effective Animal Companions

Baby Yoda stands outside holding a cup.

Animal companions are semi-characters with simple personalities and limited agency. While they have feelings, they don’t usually talk or undergo character arcs. Instead of pursuing their own goals, animal companions give devoted assistance to a protagonist. They’re usually pets of some kind, but they can … read more »

Five Stories Where the Heroes Lack Agency

When characters have agency, it means their choices matter in the story. The more agency a character possesses, the greater impact they have on the plot. This doesn’t only include their successes. A character can still have agency through failure, so long as that failure … read more »

Six Military Blunders in Speculative Fiction

A comic with a snow speeder lassoing an AT-AT

From some of my previous posts, you may have noticed that I have a thing for battles. Can you blame me? Battles are super fun, what with all the violence and explosions, plus you can use them for wonderful drama when the hero’s best friend … read more »

Five Scifi Stories That Would Be Better as Fantasy

Spock and McCoy held captive by Romans with machine guns.

Despite what some purists may tell you, there’s no clear line between scifi and fantasy. Instead, each genre has a collection of elements we associate with it, and different stories may have more or fewer of those elements. That’s why we can confidently say that … read more »

How the Oppressed Mages Trope Sabotages House of X

The ruined X-Mansion from an X-Men Comic

The term oppressed mages refers to any situation in which characters are systematically marginalized for their supernatural abilities, whether those powers come from spellbooks or mutant genes. When I first wrote about this trope, I mostly stuck to general points rather than going after specific … read more »

Five Characters With Fake Spinach

Dresden summoning shield magic.

Candy and spinach are two of our most important concepts here at Mythcreants. Candy is anything that makes a character look cool or otherwise glorifies them. Conversely, spinach is anything that humbles a character or takes them down a peg or two. The best characters … read more »

Carnival Row Shows Us the Damage a Reveal Can Do

A main in Victorian getup stands next to a woman with fairy wings

One of the most common ways storytellers sabotage their stories is by working toward a clever reveal instead of giving their stories a solid foundation. Even when this problem is pointed out in a manuscript, it’s difficult to get writers to change it. They want … read more »

Five Problems That Hold Age of Resistance Back

Several Skeksis standing in front of the crystal.

Netflix’s new hit fantasy show The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance has a lot going for it. The superb use of puppets and strong visual themes really help it stand out from other fantasy franchises. Most of the characters are sharp and distinct, and the … read more »

Five Ridiculous Organizations From Popular Stories

Newt emerging from his case in the Wizard Congress chamber.

Organizations play a critical role in speculative fiction. They allow for bigger plots and higher stakes than are feasible with individual characters. However, they are also uniquely challenging. When crafting fictional organizations, storytellers must consider what the organization does, how it operates, where its resources … read more »

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