How to Write Madness

Madness Character Writing

Okay…since I’m watching the ending of Game of Thrones (season 8) every weekend, I naturally have a lot of thoughts on it. Without getting into too much – I don’t like it. Kudos to you if you do, but I personally feel like there is a lot lacking in Game of Thrones – and really that there has been a lot lacking for a while – now it’s just all coming to a head.

One of the aspects I miss the most: character writing. Concluding character arcs is very difficult, especially if it’s over the course of multiple novels or several years of television. Even when you’re on point, there are certain character developments that require extra time and care to make sure they’re done well. Mental illness is one such issue. When executed poorly, creating mental illness in a character can be seen as lazy – a contrivance for plot rather than a natural character evolution. In the worst cases, it can be really offensive to those out there who are actually suffering.

Mental illness is one of the most challenging characters arcs to create well. So – how do you do it?

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The Long Night: When Subversion Failed Game of Thrones

Night King Subversion

Warning: This post specifically discusses, in detail, episode 3 of season 8 of Game of Thrones, “The Long Night.”  Here be spoilers.

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Lowest Point: How Korra Taught the Importance of Personal Growth

Korra season four

“When we reach our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change.”

The spirit of Aang speaks these words at the end of the first season of Legend of Korra. At the time, I remember thinking it was a nice quote, but perhaps not fully earned. Korra had suffered a defeat – losing her bending and her sense of identity. The loss, however, seemed very minor. I know weeks were supposed to have passed in the show but, from an audience standpoint – it had only been a couple minutes. We didn’t have time to see Korra’s suffering – to understand the pain she was going through. While Aang’s words were poetic, they would have had much more impact had they come at the end of season three or the beginning of season four.

Continue reading Lowest Point: How Korra Taught the Importance of Personal Growth