Characters

Analysis

Five Characters With Too Much Candy

Candy is any story element that glorifies a character. It may not be something they like, but it makes them seem more awesome to the audience. Normally, candy is great. However, like most things, too much candy is a problem. We describe such characters as Mary Sues. Read more »

Writing

Establishing Important Characters

A story is not the people or things in it, or even the events that occur. It is a fully-expressed person, facing a particular set of challenges, operating within a specific worldview. When you don’t fully understand your story, it’s difficult to find the right … read more »

Analysis

The Three Traits of Annoying Characters

Once in a while, storytellers slip up when crafting a protagonist. A character that was supposed to be an audience favorite becomes the focus of malice and frustration instead. While each person’s taste in characters is unique, some traits are likely to inspire intense dislike. … read more »

Analysis

Five Villains Who Follow the Heroine’s Journey

I outlined the Heroine’s Journey last week, but it’s more fun to watch it in action. Because this structure is about a character who’s out of balance and makes a course correction, it’s often used for villains who take a heel-face turn. Here’s five villains … read more »

Storytelling

Staying in Your Character’s Shoes

Grasping the outlook of a character is difficult for any storyteller, but it can be especially difficult in speculative fiction. If your hero is an alien living on another planet, her perspective will be vastly different from yours, and there won’t be any aliens from her planet you can interview. Read more »

Analysis

Five Psychopathic Characters

Popular media is rife with psychopaths. In fact, psychopaths are more common than you might think. Psychopathic villains often serve as foils for heroic deeds, but there are psychopathic heroes, too. Read more »

Podcast

25 – Parents as Characters

The Mythcreant Podcast

Chris, Oren, and Mike discuss the depiction of parents in popular stories. They describe why so many parents are cast in a negative light, share their favorite parent characters, and rediscover sexism for the gazillionth time. Read more »

Storytelling

Five Signs Your Character Is Fully Developed

The internet abounds with exercises to help storytellers develop their characters. These steps are all helpful, but none of them are irreplaceable. What’s important is the end result. But what does that endpoint look like? Here are five signs that you’ve arrived. Read more »

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