Q&A

What’s the Purpose of a Sidekick Like Heihei?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Thinking through hero’s journey and story archetypes (newbie here!) and was watching the recent Pixar movie Moana. My question is, what do you see as the function of or reason for a story to choose a relatively inanimate/neutral sidekick like Heihei (Moana’s chicken, that, though providing some minor key plot points, does not have a perspective, personality, “stake in the game,” etc.) or Wilson (the volleyball) from Castaway?

These are both ocean-journey stories, where the hero(ine) needs uninterrupted deep personal reflection. Maybe that’s enough of a reason? It seems unusual, and I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Warmly,
Liz

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Analysis

Six Characters Siloed Into a Separate Story

Eleven eating waffles in the woods.

The more characters in a story, the greater burden it is under. Ideally, each character’s narrative will weave together into the throughline, but that doesn’t always happen. Instead, stories often fracture under the pressure of an oversize cast, splitting off into unrelated plots. In the most … read more »

Roleplaying

Six Unstated Expectations for Roleplaying

Women in elaborate carnival mask and custom puts a finger to her lips

When new players are introduced to roleplaying games, they are usually encouraged to do whatever their characters would do in the narrative. If only it were that simple. While getting into character is a great thing, the best roleplayers balance it against what their group expects … read more »

Worldbuilding

Making Teleportation Work in Your Story

Geordi and Ro transporting in Star Trek: The Next Generation

Known by different names, teleportation is the ability to instantly transport oneself from one location to another. Through the years and across mediums, characters have wielded this magnificent power and filled us with envy at the convenience it provides. In particular, it makes for a … read more »