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?
It might be an old – and somewhat uncouth – meme, but it makes the point. Slap an unhappy backstory on a villain, and odds are that someone somewhere will ask whether or not he is “really the bad guy.” How can Thanos, for example, be considered evil when he just wants to prevent other … Continue reading Writerly Sound Bites, Number 3: The Worship of Evil – Or, “The Villain Is the Hero of His Own Story”
Something I have discovered over the years is that advice from those in the field of storytelling – or from those who teach creative writing – tends to fall into two categories. The first consists of long descriptions which can almost be considered stories in themselves. Reading through these dissertations and parsing them out can … Continue reading Writerly Sound Bites, Number 1: On Characters, Flaws, and What Really Makes a Flawed Hero Heroic
Take a look at this interesting piece from Rawle Nyanzi, readers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6YsDwg0HiY Heroes are Better than Villains Villains are considered more interesting than heroes because materialism dominates modern thinking. Under materialism, the only way to challenge a protagonist is to threaten his physical well-being, his personal desires, or his social standing. Fantastical stories are full of … Continue reading Reposted: Heroes are Better than 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
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
This article is the third in a three part series dealing with villains and evil, along with their effects on and their uses in a story. The final part of this series is upon us at last! The title for this article has to be the most confusing one yet for some people. With all … Continue reading The Problem of Evil, Part 3 – Villains: Understanding Their Powers and Their Blind Spots
This article is the second in a three part series dealing with villains and evil, along with their uses in and their effects on a story. Daniel Arenson, author of Earthrise, Kingdoms of Sand, and other series, has several articles on character development on his website. A little while ago, I was reading through and … Continue reading The Problem of Evil, Part 2 – Villains: How Evil Does Your Story Need Them to Be?
This article is the first in a three part series dealing with villains and evil, along with their uses in and their effects on a story. One of the most important things that an author should know in order to write good and even great stories, readers and future writers, is that evil in fact … Continue reading The Problem of Evil, Part 1 – What It Is, and Whether It Is the Fault of Others or the Choice of the Villain
Clint Eastwood once said that you cannot have a story without conflict. Whether your tale has the hero fighting to survive in a hurricane or trying to master his passion for a married woman doesn’t matter. Whether he is dueling with his arch-nemesis or being fired upon by alien crabs intent on turning humans into … Continue reading Conflict – How I Learned the Art of Combat in Fiction from Hasbro’s/Takara Tomy’s ZOIDS