FX's series Taboo is a fascinating watch in a lot of ways. It's a well-acted, well-written, well-directed affair of the gritty world of Britain in the wake of the War of 1812 with its former colonies in America. But as anyone who's watched it knows or will tell you, it's the protagonist, James Keziah Delaney, who … Continue reading Taboo and the Knowledge Gap
Change is integral to fiction, and the more powerful the change, the more powerful the reader experience. This is why redemption is such a gripping journey in fiction. Seeing a character transform before our eyes into a better person, atoning for their failures and mistakes, and overcoming the past to live for a better future fills us … Continue reading Redemption: Fiction’s Two-Edged Sword
Hello, and welcome to the second round of critical paddling thoughtful critiquing into The Magicians and why it failed to work for me. Last time, I talked about the concept of Set-Up and Pay-Off and the delicate balance it requires to get your audience invested and satisfied. This time, I'll be talking about a much … Continue reading Critiquing The Magicians: M for Mature?
Criticizing a book when you are as of yet unpublished seems to smack of tempting fate. But I wouldn't be the critical reader I like to think I am if I shied away from a controversial opinion. So for the next two posts, I am going to flagellate review Lev Grossman's book The Magicians and where … Continue reading Critiquing The Magicians: Set-Up and Pay-Off
Last month week, I talked about the difficult task of writing character deaths. This time, we're going to talk about undoing all that hard work and bringing the character back to life. I'm not going to talk about why and when you should bring characters back to life, as this is really dependent on the needs … Continue reading The Writer and His Reaper Pt 2
Writing character deaths is one of the most critical and thankless tasks a writer can do. This makes sense, given how impactful and final death is*, and how it's often the greatest source of contention among readers, viewers, and fans. As a result, authors need to understand when to kill characters and when to hold … Continue reading The Writer and His Reaper Pt 1
Have you ever read a book or watched a movie and thought, "That heroes were great and the plot was engaging, but the villain was kind of... blah"? I've noticed this. Quite a lot. I've noticed television shows actually seem to handle the writing for their antagonists better than most media. Perhaps it's because they … Continue reading When Bad Isn’t So Good