Analysis

Seven More Characters With Too Much Candy

Captain Jack with a big gun.

Candy and spinach are important concepts because they describe two critical elements of character likability. Candy is anything that glorifies a character. This includes cool powers, defeating a major bad guy, being right in an argument, and anything else that makes them look cool to the … read more »

Five More Good Stories That Turned Creepy

Stan with a shovel over his shoulders.

I’ve said it before: pointing out creepy or otherwise problematic content in bad stories is easy. Bad stories are less likely to have legions of defenders, but more importantly, we’re more inclined to see harmful elements in stories we already dislike. But critics and fans alike … read more »

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 »

Five Stories That Don’t Understand Power & Privilege

Mythcreants veterans can tell you that I talk about the dynamics of power and privilege a lot. It’s important that real people understand these dynamics, because if they don’t, they end up blaming problems on the oppressed instead of the oppressor. People operating under this misapprehension … read more »

Lessons From the Hyped Writing of Dawn of Wonder

Art showing man holding sword, with a fortress in the background

As soon as I spotted the cover for Jonathan Renshaw’s Dawn of Wonder, The Wakening, I knew this was the book to critique. “Dawn of Wonder” is already dramatic sounding, and adding “The Wakening” pushes it into melodrama. It doesn’t help that these words border … read more »

Three Movies With the Wrong Main Character

Black Panther wearing his suit.

Of all the characters in a story, how do creators choose which one is the main one? This question comes up often in writing workshops. Sometimes writers switch around which character is in focus in order to determine who should be framed as the main … read more »