Archive for January 26th, 2010

Jan 26 2010

A Vast List of Storytelling Blunders

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.


–The protagonist(s) don’t have significant flaws.  (For more help on flaws, please see this and this).

–The names are goofy and/or wildly hard to pronounce. I’m looking at you, Anamamana’Qupy.  For more help, please see this.

–Characters act the way the author needs them to, not because they have a compelling motivation or logic. “Let’s split up to cover more ground!”  Please see #3 here.

–The main character(s) don’t make mistakes or face no consequences for them.  Guardian angels are a red flag here.

–The main characters don’t have setbacks. If the villain can’t beat the heroes once in a while, he will probably be pretty disappointing.  Also, if the villain defeats the heroes in combat, don’t just let them go.

–The main characters don’t have distinguishing traits.  If that’s a problem, please see this.

–The characters don’t have urgent goals.  Please see #3 here.

–The protagonist is hated by an antagonist for no discernible reason. Common offenders include teachers, bullies and adopted parents. If you go down this path, at least make them stylish. Thanks.

–The author focuses on visual details rather than establishing anything interesting about the character. In particular, eye color and hair color don’t say all that much about a character–I’d recommend focusing on these details instead.

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