Analysis

Six Characters With Poorly Handled Arcs

A reformed Kallus with Zeb.

Anyone unfortunate enough to have lived through the Star Wars prequels knows that a bad character arc can ruin the story. We love watching characters grow and change over time, but when that change feels forced, contrived, or otherwise unbelievable, it’s worse than no arc … read more »

Five Characters Coded as Autistic

A few weeks ago, I discussed some helpful tips on successfully portraying an autistic character. In that article, I mentioned characters like Sheldon Cooper, who aren’t stated to be autistic but who are coded as such. Since there were some comments about this, in this … read more »

Six Ridiculous Cultures in Speculative Fiction

Building new cultures from scratch is a cornerstone of speculative fiction. From the fictional nations of high fantasy, to the interstellar empires of space opera, to the shadow kiths of urban fantasy, we authors are always crafting new societies to thrill and amaze. But for … read more »

Six Magic Systems That Need Stricter Limits

Giles in a silly wizard hat from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

When building a magic system, authors are faced with a balancing act. If they restrict their magic too much, then it won’t be cool and interesting. That defeats the whole point of magic! On the other hand, if an author doesn’t put enough restrictions on … read more »