Check out Mr. Kai Wai Cheah's latest article, readers: The Same Story Told Ten Thousand Times I’m thinking of a story. Can you guess what it is? It is the story of a young man who is whisked away into a parallel world. There he suddenly acquires a set of rare and overpowered special abilities … Continue reading Reposted: The Same Story Told Ten Thousand Times
Take a look at this great post by Nate Winchester, readers: Well Done Stakes Something I’ve come to learn about stories: When it comes to their stakes, it really doesn’t matter (except it does). I’ve heard it said more than once, “The audience can tell you the problem, but not the solution.” This applies to … Continue reading Reposted: Well Done Stakes
All right, readers, I am taking a short break from the Writerly Sound Bites series once again. The last three articles took the wind out of my sails a bit, and I have some other items which need my attention. Hopefully I will be back with the next installment(s) at some point in the following … Continue reading Reposted – How to Write Fast: A Review
Brunhilde (Marvel Comics) Thus far we have looked at how children and men are broken and remade in abusive situations. It is not a pleasant picture and the road back is rough even for the strongest members of each demographic. Manipulation cannot be overcome in an hour, perhaps not even a year; it takes time, … Continue reading Writerly Sound Bites, Number 8: Character Progression – How Characters Broken by Trauma Recover and Rebuild, Part 3
Part one of this mini-series within the Writerly Sound Bites series focused on characters who suffered abuse in childhood that affected them in a variety of ways. But that meant the topic was limited to the most vulnerable among us: children. Children are incapable of defending themselves and are thus dependent almost entirely on adults … Continue reading Writerly Sound Bites, Number 8: Character Progression – How Characters Broken by Trauma Recover and Rebuild, Part 2
If we seem to be focusing on broken characters exclusively, future authors, the reason for that is a fair number of creative writing courses and a lot of advice ties back to the sound bite I criticized here at the start of this series: the need to give characters flaws. Too often the “flaws” modern … Continue reading Writerly Sound Bites, Number 8: Character Progression – How Characters Broken by Trauma Recover and Rebuild, Part 1
Last week we established that a broken character can and often does maintain the traits he spent years developing even when he chooses to act contrary to his nature. When a man like Bowen from Dragonheart* becomes a dragonslayer, for example, he is doing so in an effort to atone for an error he made, … Continue reading Writerly Sound Bites, Number 7: Character Progression – How Broken Mentors and Mentors Who Aren’t Broken Deal with the Loss of What They Held Dear
Considering the points made in the previous two articles here and here, one has to wonder what makes a character at all. If it isn’t earth-shaking events like those seen in Picard, Avengers: Disassembled, or The Last Jedi that make a character who he is, then what does? What does real character progression look like? … Continue reading Writerly Sound Bites, Number 6: Character Progression – Consistency and Repetition Make Even a Broken Character Who He Is
Last week we discussed “shock and awe” events in three popular serials. These events were supposedly meant for character development, but they only succeed in destroying said characters, along with the canon and continuity of the franchise. However, one has to wonder just why the actions forced on the characters mentioned in the previous post … Continue reading Writerly Sound Bites, Number 5: Character Progression – Which Archetype Are You Using?
Gunsmoke's main cast I was privy to a discussion on character progression sometime in the past month. While I did not take part in it, that conversation got me thinking: many storylines in a variety of franchises with long or established characters aim for “shock and awe” character changes. These usually happen when everything appears … Continue reading Writerly Sound Bites, Number 4: Character Progression – Or Character Destruction?