Characters

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 »

Q&A

How Do You Handle Protagonists Who Kill?

questions and answer talk bubbles

I don’t think it’s controversial to say that killing is abhorrent. But in my novelette series, particularly the latest story, there is a great deal of cultists to be killed. I don’t particularly want to dive into the protagonist’s slow mental breakdown at the horror … read more »

Q&A

What’s the Purpose of a Sidekick Like Heihei?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Thinking through hero’s journey and story archetypes (newbie here!) and was watching the recent Pixar movie Moana. My question is, what do you see as the function of or reason for a story to choose a relatively inanimate/neutral sidekick like Heihei (Moana’s chicken, that, though providing some … read more »

Analysis

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 »

Storytelling

Accounting for Character Identification

Harry Potter wearing the sorting hat

Most principles of character likability work for a broad audience. But when a reader identifies with a character in your story, it can alter likability in ways that are difficult to predict. What’s more, every reader could identify with a different character, creating highly varied … read more »