Analysis

Five Failed Animal Companions

Animal companions come in all shapes and sizes, but they do share similar characteristics. First, they’re all animals of some kind, though not always animals we’d recognize. Second, they exist primarily to support another character and rarely have an arc of their own. Third, they rarely … read more »

Five Characters With Too Much Spinach

Harry Kim looking puzzled as he is shot.

No, this is not an article about Popeye the Sailor Man.* Rather, spinach is anything that humiliates a character or tarnishes their image as a cool badass in the audience’s eyes. It can take the form of a character failing to save their loved one, getting … read more »

Seven Protagonists With Terrible Motivations

Captain Archer with his hear to his cabin floor.

A character’s motivation is central to who they are. You could say it’s what motivates them.* Without it, characters won’t do the hard work a plot requires of them. Motivation is especially important to protagonists. If the main character doesn’t have a strong motivation, readers will have nothing to … read more »

Lessons From Twilight vs Fifty Shades

Twilight vs Fifty Shades of Grey

We’ve dissected the first chapters of terrible novels and great ones.* We’ve looked at entire short stories, and now I’ll kick it up a notch. I’m going to pit two books against each other in a battle to the DEATH! No, I’m not sure how a book … read more »