Likability

Analysis

Five Failed Animal Companions

The Ferengi are really wondering why Archer has a dog on this ship.

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 »

Storytelling

Five Ways to Make People Hate a Hero

Captain Hammer

Making people hate a character who kicks puppies or steals from the downtrodden is simple. But what if you want your audience to dislike someone woven from stronger moral fiber? Perhaps your story has a villain protagonist and a heroic antagonist, much like Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Or maybe you’d … read more »

Analysis

Five Characters With Too Much Candy

amy-kiss-doctor

Candy is any story element that glorifies a character. It may not be something they like, but it makes them seem more awesome to the audience. Normally, candy is great. However, like most things, too much candy is a problem. We describe such characters as Mary Sues. Read more »

Analysis

The Three Traits of Annoying Characters

jar-jar

Once in a while, storytellers slip up when crafting a protagonist. A character that was supposed to be an audience favorite becomes the focus of malice and frustration instead. While each person’s taste in characters is unique, some traits are likely to inspire intense dislike. … read more »