Telepathy in Fiction – A Lesson from Pacific Rim

By now this author’s record of interest with telepathy as a story device is well-documented. Andre Norton’s* work with this trope is the primary inspiration, in part because she described it so well as both magic and native talent. Her heroes and heroines of the Witch World have an ability not only to communicate with … Continue reading Telepathy in Fiction – A Lesson from Pacific Rim

On Theme – What It Is, and How It Affects Your Fiction

For most beginning writers, theme does not seem to be a particularly important part of the writing process. Some probably believe it just occurs organically. While that can and does happen, it is usually a rare occurrence. Though every storyteller has experienced it, this is not a reliable method to rely on for adding a … Continue reading On Theme – What It Is, and How It Affects Your Fiction

Of Limits and Strengths – What Does It Mean for a Hero to “Have the Power?”

This article is the fourth in a five part series dealing with the pitfalls and advantages of creating super powered characters. Parts One, Two, and Three may be read here, here, and here. When the topic of empowered protagonists comes up, it is almost universally stated that the characters’ superior abilities must be limited somehow. … Continue reading Of Limits and Strengths – What Does It Mean for a Hero to “Have the Power?”

Cursed Characters: How Powered Protagonists Are Viewed within Their Worlds

This article is the third in a five part series dealing with the pitfalls and advantages of creating superpowered characters. Parts One and Two may be read here and here. So far we have covered two items that should be considered by authors when they are creating empowered heroes. These aspects are handicaps and whether or … Continue reading Cursed Characters: How Powered Protagonists Are Viewed within Their Worlds

Handicapped Heroes: How to Weaken or Hinder Powered Protagonists

This article is the second in a five part series dealing with the pitfalls and advantages of creating superpowered characters. Part One may be read here. Last week, we discussed whether or not superpowers can make a character in speculative fiction a hero. Having satisfactorily answered that question, we turn to a different topic. This … Continue reading Handicapped Heroes: How to Weaken or Hinder Powered Protagonists

Cultured Characters – Why More Heroes Should Quote the Classics

The Conscience of the King Can anyone reading this article name a science fiction character – one who is not Star Trek’s Spock or the X-Men’s Beast – who enjoys quoting great poets and philosophers? I am speaking of popular sci-fi heroes known to the general public here; I am acquainted with other characters in … Continue reading Cultured Characters – Why More Heroes Should Quote the Classics

The Three Main Categories of Villainess

Misha Burnett made a comment on my article “How Do You Create Strong Female Leads?” where he suggested that an essay on Villainesses was in order. Specifically, he said, “Female villains who are schemers rather than fighters are somewhat more common, perhaps because it’s easier to write an unsympathetic manipulator than a sympathetic diplomat, but … Continue reading The Three Main Categories of Villainess