Siblings are one of the most underused types of relationships in fiction. Oh, sure, it’s not uncommon to have a pair of siblings in a story, but their relationships are rarely fleshed out to their full potential. Here’s some of my favorite fictional sibling sets and what makes them so great.
Anti-heroes are lots of fun, both to read and to write about. Not all anti-heroes are created equally, though. Here are five of the best, and what’s so great about them.
Shadow and Bone is the first in a series by Leigh Bardugo. While the book as a whole was pretty underwhelming, one thing took me by surprise: the attractive, brooding ‘bad boy’ love interest was actually evil. And portrayed as evil. And the main character thought he was evil. And he had nothing explaining away his evilness. He was the bad guy. Crazy, right?
Writers are fascinated by anti-heroes- people who fight for the good guys without being a great person themselves. If they’re intrigued by a sliding scale of heroes’ morality, it only follows that they should be just as interested in many shades of villain.
And that’s what anti-villains are for.
Anti-villains are like anti-heroes, but come from the other side. The website TV Tropes defines them as “a villain with heroic goals, personality traits, and/or virtues.” Here are five anti-villains, and what make them so great.
There’s tons of buzz about diversity in today’s books. Whether you think this is needed or not, you would probably agree that characters should be different from each other. After all, no one wants a cast that’s exactly alike.
The Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo is pretty diverse, in the popular sense of the word (including disabilities!), but something that really stood out to me was the diversity in culture.
Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo, is a super fun YA fantasy heist book. It’s about six teenagers and their attempt to infiltrate the most secure prison in the known world: the Ice Court. If they succeed, they’ll be rich for life. If they fail, they die.
Let’s be clear here: I loved this book. There’s lots of great things about it, including the surprisingly fresh characters and the multiple cultures and settings. However, it definitely falls short in some areas, including handling multiple points of view.
Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys, is a phenomenal YA historical fiction book. It follows four young adults from different countries during World War II as their paths converge to the fated MV Wilhelm Gustloff.
In 1945 the German military transport ship Wilhelm Gustloff sank in the Baltic Sea (the sea between Sweden and Latvia/Lithuania/Poland/etc.) while carrying around 10,600 passengers and crew. The majority of these were civilian refugees fleeing the approaching Red Army. Up to 9,400 people died, making it the largest loss of life of a single sunk ship, even greater than the Titanic, which is far better known (thanks, Wikipedia!).
Salt to the Sea‘s four main characters end up on this doomed boat as they flee from their past. (Spoilers ahead)
There are millions of villains out there. Some are awesome, some are… not so great. Here’s a few of the good ones, and what makes them awesome.
There are just as many terrible male characters as there are terrible female characters, so here’s some good ones and what makes them awesome.
There’s tons of talk about how (and how not) to write a good female character. Here’s five of my favorite fictional females and what makes them so awesome.