Reflections on the Modern View of Villains

From Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda.* Although the above quote appears clever and wise, it is in fact circuitous and facile. This does not make it wrong, necessarily, but it does avoid the meaning of the proverb it seeks to replace. While it can be beneficial to approach a delicate point obliquely, it is quite another matter … Continue reading Reflections on the Modern View of Villains

Children in Fiction, Part 3: Are Heroes and Heroines Interchangeable in Fiction?

Thus far we have discussed what a lack of children means in terms of world-building, along with fictional children and teens’ (often outrageous) adult-style behavior. Both these items were mentioned in Ms. R.J. Sheffler’s article here. Today’s subject, however, is not among the issues that writers encounter listed therein. Many writers, particularly in the Young … Continue reading Children in Fiction, Part 3: Are Heroes and Heroines Interchangeable in Fiction?

Children in Fiction, Part 2: Their Characterization and Interactions with Other Characters

Last week we covered the implications which severe depopulation would present to a fictional race that regarded children as a pathology and how this relates to world-building. In the same piece where she spoke about the necessity of children in fiction, Ms. R.J. Sheffler touched on another issue plaguing their appearance in modern tales. This … Continue reading Children in Fiction, Part 2: Their Characterization and Interactions with Other Characters

Children in Fiction, Part 1: What Happens When There Aren’t Enough?

In her perceptive article “Stop Pretending Children Don’t Exist in Your Story World,” R.J. Sheffler covers several reasons why putting children in fiction is a necessary element for good world-building. As she herself states, youngsters do not have to be in the thick of the fighting or be involved in the action to make the … Continue reading Children in Fiction, Part 1: What Happens When There Aren’t Enough?

Show, Don’t Tell: The Proper Use of Psychology in Fiction

You can’t study men, you can only get to know them. – from C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength Among the many items professional writers suggest aspiring authors read in order to refine their craft, psychology likely ranks somewhere in the top ten. The reason for this is simple: men are a product of their environment, … Continue reading Show, Don’t Tell: The Proper Use of Psychology in Fiction

Killing Characters, Part 3: The Case for the Death of the Main Antagonist

This article is the third in a three part series dealing with the demise of characters in fiction. Part One and Two may be read here and here. Thus far these posts have focused primarily on the deaths of heroic major and minor characters, with some attention paid to minor villains. The reason this author … Continue reading Killing Characters, Part 3: The Case for the Death of the Main Antagonist

Killing Characters, Part 2: The Demise of the Foot Soldier

This article is the second in a three part series dealing with the demise of characters in fiction. Part One may be read here. Following last week’s post on the believability of a character’s demise we come to a seemingly inconsequential point. In fact, this detail has been taken so lightly of late that it has … Continue reading Killing Characters, Part 2: The Demise of the Foot Soldier

Killing Characters, Part 1: Is It Necessary to Make a Novel/Series Believable?

This article is the first in a three part series dealing with the demise of characters in fiction. One of the main literary movements of the last century, Realism, holds much of the modern literati in its thrall. Along with Naturalism and a resurgent Romanticism, this school of writing insists on killing off at least … Continue reading Killing Characters, Part 1: Is It Necessary to Make a Novel/Series Believable?

The Reality of the Human Soul: How Sci-Fi and Fantasy Prove its Existence

Clone Commander Wolffe and his Wolfpack. One of the items which the Star Wars prequels failed to properly utilize was the Old Republic’s clone troopers. While the writers in the Clone Wars TV series did an admirable job of developing said replicant soldiers as characters, their focus derailed earlier points made by the authors who … Continue reading The Reality of the Human Soul: How Sci-Fi and Fantasy Prove its Existence

Romance in Fiction: The Six Types of Amorous Subplot

There is a scene in the movie Pay It Forward where the main character’s single mother tells a friend about her relationship with her son’s social studies teacher. She admits to being nervous because their rapport seems to be taking so long to form. This prompts her friend to say, “Haven’t you ever gotten to … Continue reading Romance in Fiction: The Six Types of Amorous Subplot