Characters

Storytelling

A Field Guide to Six Infectious YA Clichés

Dear YA novelists of all shapes and sizes: there is an infestation spreading through the ranks of our beloved genre. Distorted by centuries* of grotesque overexposure and abhorrent inescapability, these clichés have wormed their way into even the best-intentioned novels. Watch out! They may be … read more »

Analysis

Five Surprisingly Successful Characters and Why They Work

Boba Fett from Star Wars

At Mythcreants we’ve previous discussed characters who were too unlikable, too isolated, or just disappointing. Some had too much candy or too much spinach, terrible motivations, or too much candy again. But believe it or not, we occasionally run into characters that impress us. Let’s go over some characters that were … read more »

Q&A

How Do You Bring an Inexperienced Hero to a Fight?

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Your article on how to bring swords to a gunfight was very interesting, and I’m dealing with a (somewhat) similar idea except that it involves characters. The plot’s picking up speed. Things are getting serious. Your protagonist is in over their head. They don’t know … read more »

Analysis

Seven More Characters With Too Much Candy

Captain Jack with a big gun.

Candy and spinach are important concepts because they describe two critical elements of character likability. Candy is anything that glorifies a character. This includes cool powers, defeating a major bad guy, being right in an argument, and anything else that makes them look cool to the … read more »

Q&A

How Do You Handle Protagonists Who Kill?

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I don’t think it’s controversial to say that killing is abhorrent. But in my novelette series, particularly the latest story, there is a great deal of cultists to be killed. I don’t particularly want to dive into the protagonist’s slow mental breakdown at the horror … read more »

Q&A

What’s the Purpose of a Sidekick Like Heihei?

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Thinking through hero’s journey and story archetypes (newbie here!) and was watching the recent Pixar movie Moana. My question is, what do you see as the function of or reason for a story to choose a relatively inanimate/neutral sidekick like Heihei (Moana’s chicken, that, though providing some … read more »

Analysis

Six Characters Siloed Into a Separate Story

Eleven eating waffles in the woods.

The more characters in a story, the greater burden it is under. Ideally, each character’s narrative will weave together into the throughline, but that doesn’t always happen. Instead, stories often fracture under the pressure of an oversize cast, splitting off into unrelated plots. In the most … read more »

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