Game of Thrones Season 6 Premiere: Minor Characters Matter

As a reader of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books, it felt decidedly strange going into the Season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones. With the exception of some parts from A Feast of Crows, going forward the TV series is moving beyond events in the first five published books. … Continue reading Game of Thrones Season 6 Premiere: Minor Characters Matter

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10 Things I Love About This Character: Ellie Linton, The Tomorrow Series

Last year I wrote an article about the "strong female character" which was very well received. (It was even featured by WordPress in their "Freshly Pressed" section.) Since then, I've been thinking about doing a series devoted to individual characters that I consider "strong." This series will not be limited to female characters--I will include … Continue reading 10 Things I Love About This Character: Ellie Linton, The Tomorrow Series

Thoughts on Mythic Structure: Approach to the Inmost Cave

This is Part 6 of my series on the hero's journey, or monomyth. 1. This stage of the journey is when the story begins to coalesce around a major confrontation with the antagonist. The part of the journey that falls under "Tests, Allies and Enemies" can take up quite a bit of the story after … Continue reading Thoughts on Mythic Structure: Approach to the Inmost Cave

Thoughts on Mythic Structure: Tests, Allies, and Enemies

This is Part 5 of my series on monomyth or the hero's journey. 1. After your hero crosses the threshold into the world of adventure, the rules of the new world are a good place to start when it comes to testing your hero. Here are some ways he can get into trouble right away: … Continue reading Thoughts on Mythic Structure: Tests, Allies, and Enemies

Thoughts on Mythic Structure: Crossing the First Threshold

This is Part 4 of my series on monomyth, or the hero's journey. 1. Crossing the first threshold is the transition from Act 1 to Act 2 of your story. Up to this point, your hero is still connected to her ordinary world. In many models of mythic structure, the first part of the story … Continue reading Thoughts on Mythic Structure: Crossing the First Threshold

Thoughts on Mythic Structure: The Meeting with the Mentor

This is Part 3 in my series on mythic structure, or the hero’s journey. 1. Even though this stage of the journey is positioned after The Call to Adventure and The Refusal of the Call, the Meeting with the Mentor can happen at any point in the story. It is common for the hero to … Continue reading Thoughts on Mythic Structure: The Meeting with the Mentor

The Strong Female Character: I Do Not Think That Means What Some People Think It Means

I recently started watching the new TV series Outlander, based on the popular books by Diana Gabaldon. I have never read the books. The series sounded like something I might enjoy, about a woman who time-travels to 18th Century Scotland.After watching two episodes, I'm already done with it.I see people raving about the show on … Continue reading The Strong Female Character: I Do Not Think That Means What Some People Think It Means

7 Tips For Creating Memorable Characters

Had a mishap in the kitchen this weekend and am nursing a mild burn, so I didn’t get around to writing a blog post. I’m reblogging this oldie. Hope you enjoy!

MOON IN GEMINI

1. Don’t become over-dependent on character charts. I’ll be honest. I’m not a fan of character charts. I don’t think a lot of the information on them is necessary for creating (or for a writer “getting a grip” on) characters. No one cares how many freckles or moles your character has, or what the character’s favorite flavor of ice cream is, or that the dog they had when they were growing up was a poodle named Muffy, or what job they had when they were 17, unless a detail like that is critical to the story.

The worst thing about character charts is some people fill them out and think they’re done creating their characters.

If you feel that character charts are helpful, by all means, use them. Just realize when you finish one that you’re not done, you’ve only just begun.

2. That said, details are important.  Without…

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Dumbledore Was A Manipulative Bastard (And You Should Be One, Too)

Hi, not feeling so great this weekend, so I dug up this from the archives. Hope you enjoy!

MOON IN GEMINI

SPOILERS FOR THE HARRY POTTER SERIES AND PSYCHO FOLLOW (in case you’re the one person on earth who is unfamiliar with them):

HBO has been running the movie Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2 a lot lately.  Since it’s my favorite of the Harry Potter movies, I’ve watched it several times.

Love it.  A perfect ending to a great series.

One thing struck me on multiple viewings that hadn’t during all the years of reading the books and watching the movies:

Headmaster Albus Dumbledore was a manipulative bastard.

I cried like everyone else when he was killed by Snape in Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince.  You better believe I did.  For the longest time I didn’t want to believe he was dead.

But watching the last movie–wow.  It struck me that Dumbledore was a puppet-master like few others.  As Snape put it, he raised Harry “up for…

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Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Hero

1. Heroes often have an unusual origin story. In spite of some people nowadays groaning at the origin stories in superhero comics and movies, they have a mythological basis. In folk lore and mythology, heroes may have an unusual conception. (Zeus was always turning himself into various animals so he could get it on with … Continue reading Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Hero

The Great Villain Blogathon: Waldo Lydecker, Laura, 1944

This post is part of the Great Villain Blogathon hosted by Ruth of Silver Screenings, Karen of Shadows & Satin, and Kristina of Speakeasy  — see all the movie baddies at any of these three blogs. YES, there will be SPOILERS. "I don't use a pen. I write with a goose quill dipped in venom." - … Continue reading The Great Villain Blogathon: Waldo Lydecker, Laura, 1944

Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Shadow

I will be participating in The Great Villain Blogathon next week, so what better way to set the tone than a post about the shadow archetype? 1. I've already done a post with tips for creating a great antagonist, but shadow characters don't necessarily have to be antagonists or villains. As I will demonstrate with … Continue reading Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Shadow

8 Things You Need To Know About Character Arcs

No new post this week–I’m suffering from a muscle spasm in my back, so sitting at the computer is kind of difficult. So I dove into the archives and came up with this post. Hope you enjoy!

MOON IN GEMINI

Jaime-Lannister1. Character arcs are not 100% necessary. I’m going to get this out of the way first thing.

This argument is made all the time, and there’s some truth to it. There are some very successful characters that never have a character arc. James Bond is the one most mentioned. While he was retooled somewhat when Daniel Craig took over the role in the movies, the character has never undergone a significant arc. Miss Marple never has an arc, or Hercule Poirot, or Stephanie Plum.

See a pattern here? They’re all characters in a long-running series of stand-alone books. While there are series characters that have arcs (I would argue Indiana Jones is an example) most don’t have them. Mainly because having the characters change would disrupt the series too much.

2. However, not giving your character one can simply be laziness on your part. Just because there are…

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Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Shapeshifter

In Part 6 of my series about archetypes, I will examine the Shapeshifter: 1. As the name implies, a shapeshifter is a character who is not what he or she appears to be, either to the hero, the reader, or both. 2. Shapeshifting may be a literal part of the character. Obvious examples would be … Continue reading Writers, Know Your Archetypes: The Shapeshifter