Analysis

Five Characters With Too Much Candy

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 »

The Three Traits of Annoying Characters

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 »

Four Horror Stories in Unexpected Places

It’s that time of year, when dark winds susurrate through ancient trees and strange beings stalk in the shadows. I’m talking about Halloween, of course. In between stuffing our faces with way too much candy, we like to huddle together and watch or read the … read more »

Six Dark Stories You Shouldn’t Miss

While dark tales of loss and suffering can be painful to experience, they’ve earned their place in popular media by helping us discuss important topics. Well-constructed dark stories affect us as few other things can, offering a chance to reconsider issues we thought we understood. … read more »

Five Villains Who Follow the Heroine’s Journey

I outlined the Heroine’s Journey last week, but it’s more fun to watch it in action. Because this structure is about a character who’s out of balance and makes a course correction, it’s often used for villains who take a heel-face turn. Here’s five villains … read more »

Five Rules for Retelling Old Stories

Humans have been retelling old stories for as long as there have been old stories to retell, as the current plethora of Hollywood remakes can attest. On its own, this isn’t a surprise. There are only so many kinds of stories, and it’s much easier … read more »