Characters

Podcast

140 – Too Many Characters

The Mythcreant Podcast

Everyone loves characters, so you should be able to simply add more and more of them with no consequences, right? Turns out that’s not quite true, and we talk about why today. We discuss how an overabundance of characters can clog down a narrative, when … read more »

Storytelling

Crafting a Redemption Arc for Your Villain

Character change brings a lot to our stories, but the more dramatic the change, the harder it is to craft. That’s why arcs that transition characters between good and evil are some of the most difficult but also the most rewarding. Previously, I’ve covered arcs … read more »

Storytelling

Seven Ways to Bring Characters Together

You have a character that’s made from oozing lava, and another that’s a rolling snowball. They’ll make a great lava-snow duo, but right now they won’t so much as say hi. Don’t worry, storytellers have many tried-and-true plot devices for bringing characters from different walks of life … read more »

Storytelling

Five Tropes That Make a Villain Look Incompetent

Villainy is a profession loaded with tropes. From the evil speech to the climactic duel against the hero, villainous behavior has been tweaked and refined through the ages. Unfortunately, some of these tropes make the villain look incompetent. They invoke eye-rolling from the audience and destroy tension in the … read more »

Analysis

Five Heroes With Dark Reflections

Many popular heroes have faced a dark version of themselves. This trope creates thrill in a video game battle or novelty in a TV episode about an alternate reality. However, some stories go beyond that, using a hero’s dark reflection to add meaning and depth to the work. By comparing the hero to … read more »

Storytelling

Depicting Background Characters

Not every person that appears in a story is an actual character. These non-characters remain in the background: standing in line, cheering after a speech, or manning a stand. Like the buildings or the waterways, they exist to flesh out the setting. They are the extras of … read more »

Analysis

Five Redundant Characters in Spec Fic

Some characters are good, some are bad, and some are completely redundant. You may have guessed that we’re focusing on the third category today. These characters fill some role that’s already been taken. Dividing the role between two characters reduces the time available to develop … read more »

Storytelling

Five Tips for Creating a Layered Character

Compelling characters have many layers, like an onion. (Or as Donkey in Shrek might say, like cake.) As writers, our job is not to peel back layers but to create them. Without these layers, your characters will feel like flat cardboard cutouts. With them, you’ll have rich, … read more »

Analysis

Five Strong Characters From Terrible Shows

Some TV shows are just bad. They might have inconsistent writing, terrible special effects, lousy acting, or all three! But sometimes, a character stands out from these awful shows, a shining diamond of good storytelling in the rough of mediocrity. These characters rise above the … read more »

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