Not long ago, this author discovered the above picture, which discusses some fans’ thoughts on how the Fellowship of the Ring might have simply flown to Mordor to dispose of the One Ring rather than “take the long way around.” As the commenter explains, this would have been a bad idea narratively because the entire … Continue reading Thoughts on Tactics: How History Affects Fiction and Makes It Believable
Category: The Roving Author
Lost in Translation: Communicating Past Language Barriers and Maneuvering Amidst Different Cultures
This author has little problem with the practice of reading fanfic. Her review of Richard Paolinelli’s ongoing Star Trek* fan fiction story (check it out, it is good) is proof of this. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that last year, this writer ran across a very intriguing fan fiction tale written by Crossover Queen (also … Continue reading Lost in Translation: Communicating Past Language Barriers and Maneuvering Amidst Different Cultures
The Aspirational Hero: What He Is, and How to Write Him
The Aspirational Hero is similar to, but not quite like, the Iconic Hero. Although the two resemble each other, mainly in what K.M. Weiland* refers to as the Flat Character Arc, they are not the same thing. They are, rather, two distinct archetypes that have largely gone out of fashion in the West. You are … Continue reading The Aspirational Hero: What He Is, and How to Write Him
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 … 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