Analysis

Five Failed Character Arcs

Character arcs form the heart of the story. They give audiences a reason to cheer a character on and add emotional depth to the plot. But not all characters arcs are equal. A good arc doesn’t just take a pauper and make her queen; it … read more »

Four Behaviors Fiction Needs to Stop Glorifying

We humans have spent the last 200,000 years trying to figure out how to treat each other, and while we’re still confused on a few subjects, the basics are pretty solid. At least, they should be. Somehow our fictional characters can’t go two seconds without doing something horrible. Read more »

Seven Video Games With Great Writing

Video games have a mixed reputation when it comes to writing, and it’s not entirely undeserved. There are some badly written games out there. Of course, plenty of novels are badly written too, and no one questions books as a storytelling medium.* When done correctly, … read more »

Four Popular Shows That Strived for Gender Equality

Telling an egalitarian story means fighting back against a lifetime of cultural programming, not to mention systematic bias in production, publishing, and marketing. So even when we try to make our stories just, problems we haven’t noticed can sneak their way in. Graded on a … read more »

Six Characters Who Should Have Died

Character death is a tricky subject, whether in prose, roleplaying games, or television. Sometimes a character can pass before their time, especially if an actor’s contract expires or a critical hit goes the wrong way. On the other hand, the death of a beloved character … read more »