Analysis

Five Antagonists Who Never Stood a Chance

Rand lifting a magic horn from The Great Hunt's cover art.

Captain Kirk’s adventures would be a snoozefest if the Klingons just rolled over for him. No one would care about T’Challa taking back his throne unless Killmonger could match him blow for blow. Batman’s investigations would be pointless if the Joker just turned himself in.* What’s … read more »

Five Emotional Arcs That Fell Flat

Riker looking confused in sickbay.

Drama is a cornerstone of storytelling. Even the most action-heavy violence-fests need an emotional core if they want to be more than a forgettable special-effects reel. We have a number of articles covering how to get the right feels in your story, from character arcs … read more »

Five Useless Powers in Popular Stories

Bunny, Jack, and Santa in action poses from Rise of the Guardians.

Special powers are a cornerstone of speculative fiction. Whether they come from ancient magics or alien evolution, we love to see characters with abilities that humans cannot possess. Such powers provide excellent novelty and wish fulfillment. But sometimes storytellers don’t think about how their powers actually … read more »