Analysis

Six Stories With Failed Turning Points

Spider-Man trying to hold a bisected boat together.

Turning points are critical to a good story. What’s a turning point, you ask? It’s the moment in a story’s climax when the situation changes, when the hero goes from losing to winning, or winning to losing if this is a story that ends poorly. … read more »

Six Stories That Focus Too Much on Side Characters

The protagonist is a story’s most important character. They have the most interesting problems, and the conflict’s outcome depends on their actions. Whether a story has multiple protagonists or just one, they should receive the lion’s share of screen time and development. At least, that’s … read more »

Five Characters With Strong Arcs

Character arcs come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they fade seamlessly into the plot, but other times the characters go through major changes and become different people by the end. Both types of arc are valid, but it’s the second category we’re looking at … read more »

Six Unsatisfying Character Arcs

Anakin looking out from under his hood with his yellow eyes in Revenge of the Sith.

Character arcs form the backbone of many a story. A successful upward arc fills the audience with fuzzy warmth, while a well-crafted downward arc delivers powerful pathos. But not all arcs are put together well. When a character’s change is rushed or unjustified, it often … read more »

Five Setting Details With Horrifying Implications

Rayla putting her hand out to a baby deer in Dragon Prince.

Worldbuilding is a core aspect of speculative fiction. Not only do fantastic worlds provide critical novelty, but they also allow for fun new plots and powerful messages! But when storytellers aren’t careful, seemingly minor worldbuilding details can have major implications. Sometimes, those implications are really … read more »