Characters

Podcast

78 – Does Authorial Intent Matter?

The Mythcreant Podcast

Is the author dead or have reports of their demise been greatly exaggerated? This week, join Chris, Oren, and special-bonus host Dash as they discuss how much an author’s intent actually matters. Is your favorite ship still legitimate after the author nay-says it? Should you … read more »

Storytelling

Five Ways to Make People Hate a Hero

Captain Hammer

Making people hate a character who kicks puppies or steals from the downtrodden is simple. But what if you want your audience to dislike someone woven from stronger moral fiber? Perhaps your story has a villain protagonist and a heroic antagonist, much like Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Or maybe you’d … read more »

Podcast

76 – Characters Who Switch Sides

The Mythcreant Podcast

Writers really love turning their characters from evil to good or from good to evil, so it must be easy, right? Not according to the nerds hosting this podcast. Listen as they debate which transitions worked well, which ones didn’t, and talk a lot about Zuko. Mostly … read more »

Storytelling

Four Tips for Depicting Disabled Characters

Geordi from Star Trek: TNG at a poker table

Many storytellers are intimidated by including a diverse cast in their stories, not just because they know little about other groups, but because the stakes are so high. That’s why questions like Sarai’s are common: In a historical setting, or a world where not much is known … read more »

Storytelling

Creating Distinct and Grounded Anti-Heroes

People are flawed, complicated, and strange, but heroes are often simplified and put on pedestals. We don’t need to make everything dark and gritty, but pretending that humanity is spotless limits our stories. That’s where anti-heroes come in. They subvert heroic stereotypes; rather than a selfless white … read more »

Storytelling

Six Ways to Make Your Villain Likable

Penguin from Gotham

Do you need your audience to like a character who kicks dogs, swindles orphans, or is just a big jerk? You have a variety of options to choose from, and the more you choose, the more likable your character will become. To bestow your threatening … read more »

Writing

Choosing Viewpoint Characters

Hands holding binoculars

Using the right viewpoint character can give your story a big boost. But all too often, writers choose viewpoint characters that turn their narration into an uphill battle. Whether you’d like to supplement your hero’s viewpoint with visits from side characters, or you’re unsure of … read more »

Analysis

Five Disappointing Villains

Creating good villains is difficult. Any character needs personality, motives, flaws, and agency, but villains also have to be threatening or relatable. By analyzing bad examples like these, we can learn what to avoid. Read more »

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