Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Latest Topics


    Veronica Mars- The Power of Competence

    Our current culture has it’s fair share of ‘strong female characters’, but Veronica Mars is one who stands out. That’s not because she makes speeches about making her own decisions, it’s because she’s the one getting stuff done. Rather than just reacting to what happens to her, she is the one making moves. Not just for one climatic moment- she is ALWAYS chasing down a case, getting a favour, asking the first question. She is the one people go to for help, she is the one you want on your side, because she is really good at what she does. The point is, female characters saying ‘this is my choice’ while deciding between love interests is not nearly as empowering as watching Veronica seeking out her own cases and succeeding by her own skill.

    Discussion doesn’t need to be limited to Veronica Mars. Other characters like Jessica Jones, and (sometimes) Emma Swan (OUAT) show proactive competence. There should definitely be comparisons to characters like Elena Gilbert (Vampire Diaries) who, while brave and occasionally proactive, still lapses into long periods of being rescued and only choosing between other people’s plans.

    • I am a huge fan of VM, she is a very interesting character that is positioned uniquely within the female archetypes. She is a great one to examine that not only does she represent the gumshoe archetype, but that this is met on every level - she has flaws, she has her own code that does not always align with what is legal, she is driven by internal motivations. I agree also that JJ is a good representative of the similar type of emerging female archetype. A great discussion to be having. – SaraiMW 6 years ago
    • she definitely is a strong character and is often overlooked in favour of more popular characters. Definitely, an important issue to discuss. – Ishita 6 years ago
    • LOVE Veronica Mars and still upset with how it ended (or was cancelled). She was headstrong, super witty, hilarious, stubborn and in demand. And I mean literally, people would seek her out and she would help out but only on her terms and I loved that about her. I just admired how clever she was. – teyadonna 6 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    Thank you for your intelligent and thoughtful discussion of some important narrative differences between the movies. When you discussed how the different characters story lines came together in Avengers, I was impressed all over again. Everything works together.

    Avengers 2012 vs Justice League 2017: A Lesson in Narrative Storytelling

    This is a well written article which gives a concise description of the show. It’s a difficult show to analyse because the series “shows” the ideas so well that telling feels redundant. I too think this show stood out from other cop shows, for the reasons you provided. There’s also the meticulous direction and visuals you expect from Fincher.

    Mindhunter: A gritty insight into criminal psychology

    Thank you, thank you, for such a thoughtful, intelligent and respectful post. It has been very disheartening to see this issue being discussed with aggression and fear. I wish more people wrote like you, with a focus on the people who are hurt, on why they don’t speak out, and your encouragement by speaking out yourself. You are right, one of the reasons this abuse has been able to continue is the culture of shame around this issue. Take away the shame, and hopefully we can work to stop abuse. Thank you.

    Censorship: Post-Weinstein, and the Impact of Social Media

    This is a well written and well researched article. It’s an important reminder that everything is written with context and bias. We should not accept that myths have always been interpreted this way, and the current interpretations of Thor have as much to do with modern culture as they do Norse Mythology (if not more.)

    Thor's Worthiness to Wield the Hammer

    I’m impressed by the selection of YA novels in this articles. The massively popular and the lesser known are both given their due space, and you get a well rounded view of the both the cliches and the values of these stories. Cliches exist for a reason. They help create adequate stories and comfortable reactions. If you’re writing something that has been done before, the key to not being a cliche is figuring out why this story needs bullies or why it’s protagonist needs to be an orphan child.
    You mentioned The Book Thief contained that cliche, and what’s great about that story is that Liesal’s situation did not feel well worn. She was saved from cliche by the book’s unique voice, the vivid imagining of the protagonist, and a plot that did not require a ”chosen one”. YA books may have similar situations, but they can be told in new ways.

    Has Cliche’ in Young Adult Literature Decreased It’s Appeal to Adult Readers?

    This article is a goof example of conversation about a protagonist that’s very well suited to their genre. Harry Potter being both remarkable and normal is was invaluable to a fictional world resonating with so many people. I particularly like this point: “It’s Harry’s imperfections that make him relevant, but it’s his heart and friendships that bring him success.” Very well summed up.

    Also, there was nearly an entire paragraph repeated about Harry’s first task in Goblet of Fire.

    Harry Potter: The Remarkably Unremarkable Main Character